Imagine a 1-foot thick wall dividing whites from blacks. Although no longer serving that purpose, a section of the wall still stands in the Motor City. However today, the wall is colorfully painted with persons of all races on the wall. But, it stood bare in some areas and littered with graffiti in other areas up until 2006.
When the wall was built in 1940, it stretched five miles and was 6-feet tall. It was the physical barrier between those who were white and owned their own home and those who were black homeowners. It is in the area of 8 Mile Road and is often referred to as the Eight Mile Wall or Detroit’s Wailing Wall. Some compare it to the Berlin Wall.
The idea to build the wall was launched into action in 1934 and finished in 1940. The time period was when Detroit was booming and the Federal Housing Administration was pushing for more home ownership among all races. Community groups wanted the wall to keep their neighborhoods segregated as they thought housing for those of color would interfere with the successful real estate market.