Following a series of successful mainstream press publications, such as the Harper & Row Mecca (1968), Brooks chose to have Riot published by the Detroit-based Broadside Press. The press had been founded in 1965 by Brooks' dedicatee, Dudley Randall (initially as a bid to protect the copyright on his poem "The Ballad of Birmingham"). Printed in November, 1969 with a cover design by Cledie Taylor and a frontispiece color image of the painting "Allah Shango" by Jeff Donaldson, the saddle-stapled pamphlet was printed in two colors; the epigraph from Henry Miller, significantly, is printed white on black. In the hardcover edition of the book, the blank pages in the pamphlet edition (as imaged here) reproduce a facsimile of Brooks' manuscript version of the final poem. Reprinted by consent of Brooks Permissions.