Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2006 Birwood Wall's racist legacy painted over with notes, symbols of harmony Previous Next
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Detroitman
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Username: Detroitman

Post Number: 973
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 216.78.33.124
Posted on Sunday, May 07, 2006 - 8:46 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Birwood Wall's racist legacy painted over with notes, symbols of harmony

Symbol of racial division transformed into a symbol of unity
http://www.detnews.com/apps/pb cs.dll/article?AID=/20060507/M ETRO/605070339/1003
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623kraw
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Username: 623kraw

Post Number: 902
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.41.224.200
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 9:43 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Any more pictures?
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Detroitman
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Username: Detroitman

Post Number: 974
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 216.78.34.2
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 9:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I've seen several photos of the murals on another website, but that site no longer exist.
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Lowell
Board Administrator
Username: Lowell

Post Number: 2576
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 63.138.19.234
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 11:27 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

https://www.detroityes.com/webisode s/2002/8mile/021106-04-8mile-b erlin-wall.htm
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 7350
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.159.19
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 11:44 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Great story. Glad to hear that members of the communities on both sides of the wall were in attendance.

Nothing like using a wall to build a bridge. Congrats to those that participated.
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 1487
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 208.44.117.10
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 11:54 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Does anybody ever talk about the 6 foot concrete wall that seperates Burns form the alley between it and fisher? Or the one that runs much of the way on the back of houses between Seminole and Maxwell?
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 7352
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.159.19
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Any info on those walls. Were they built by one Detroit community to keep out another?
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Dabirch
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Username: Dabirch

Post Number: 1488
Registered: 06-2004
Posted From: 208.44.117.10
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:14 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't know, that's why I was asking.

My assumption has always been that it was like a an early 20th century concept of a gated community, but not really sure.
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 284
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.43.107.72
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

isn't there a wall by grosse pointe?
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Jt1
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Username: Jt1

Post Number: 7353
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 198.208.159.19
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:28 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I thought it was a fence, not a wall. I may be mistaken.
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 288
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.43.107.72
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:30 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

you might be right I just thought there was something
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Susanarosa
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Username: Susanarosa

Post Number: 817
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 208.39.170.90
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:35 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

There are fences and walls.

A fence runs along the canals off Alter south of Jefferson.

Walls run scattered along the next street over (can't remember the name) which is the actual GPP/Detroit border from the river up to at least Mack. Not all streets are blocked by walls, but some are.

(edit: and the walls are only about 3 ft. high)

(Message edited by susanarosa on May 08, 2006)
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 289
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.43.107.72
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

any pics?
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Border5150
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Username: Border5150

Post Number: 144
Registered: 03-2004
Posted From: 207.232.204.254
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:36 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I don't have the exact facts and figures, but at the time, housing was segregated to the point that LEGALLY, blacks and whites couldn't live with x number of feet of each other. Such walls were built as a compromise by the developers of the newer housing.

Also, in some older neighborhoods there was often a clause in the original title to the house (or deed or whatever its called) that the homeowner would have to agree to NOT sell the house to a minority. I know people who've gone back and seen this in the original title to their home.

Segregation wasn't just considered the norm; it many cases, it was the law

Pretty sickening stuff...
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Susanarosa
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Username: Susanarosa

Post Number: 818
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 208.39.170.90
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:38 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)


quote:

any pics?




I don't even own a camera. Maybe someone else has some.
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 290
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.43.107.72
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I was looking at google earth and noticed a huge canal on alter. Im thinking about driving by there later to peep it, but was the canal built to seperate GP and D or is it natural?
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Susanarosa
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Username: Susanarosa

Post Number: 819
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 208.39.170.90
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

It's natural. There's canals all through those neighborhoods. It's a nice drive but an even better bike ride.
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 293
Registered: 03-2006
Posted From: 68.43.107.72
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 12:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

yeah that bike shop on Warren and Mack screwed my bike up hardcore. Bastards! Maybe a rollerblade will do
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Dougw
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Username: Dougw

Post Number: 1130
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 136.2.1.103
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 3:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dabirch, those walls along Maxwell and the alley behind Burns (in Indian Village) are simply backyard walls put up by individual homeowners, there was no coordinated effort. It's actually a mix of walls and fences of various heights, and in the case of some yards, there is no wall/fence.

Also, there are similar walls/fences on the alleys inside Indian Village (for example between Iroquois and Seminole), not just along the outer border of the neighborhood.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3772
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 3:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Restrictive Covenants".
No dogs or Jews is a wonderful example. (Axtual signs put in by developers.)

The Pembroke Ave. Area wall has been previously documented in length on this Forum. Punch up Lowell's link.

Basically, it was a requirement of FHA loan policies just after WW II. East of the wall was a traditionally black neighborhood, and the builders were abutting to the West. Without FHA financing, the project was doomed. That's a short-hand explanation.

jjaba, tells it like it tis on the Westside.

jjaba, Westsider.
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Mikem
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Username: Mikem

Post Number: 2493
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 68.43.15.105
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 3:22 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The canal along Alter is a man-made straightening of the Fox Creek. The fence is to keep cars and people from falling into the creek, or at least to prevent loitering. Both sides of the canal are in Detroit. Community groups in the area have been planting trees along the berm each spring to help the aesthetics.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3775
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 3:33 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

MikeM, contact jjaba when you reach 2,500 posts. Congratulations for your dedication to this Forum.
jjaba sends rewards for centurians' benchmarks.

jjaba.
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Renf
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Username: Renf

Post Number: 42
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 141.211.32.81
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 4:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

The wall erected near 8 Mile and Wyoming to separate a white neighborhood from a black one is quite unusual. It was deliberately built so as to qualify a builder's home for financing from the federal housing agencies. This is an example of how federal policy created and maintained the residential segregation that still divides this metropolis. The wall was put up just after 1940 in an area where some blacks had built sweat equity homes after World War I. I do not know of any similar wall in any other US city although one may have been erected in Miami.
A wide variety of different effective strategies were used to enforce racial residential segregation but Detroit may be the only location where a wall was built for that purpose, a wall that still stands today.
http://detroit1701.psc.isr.umi ch.edu/Black-WhiteWall.htm
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Pam
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Username: Pam

Post Number: 184
Registered: 11-2005
Posted From: 4.229.72.36
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 8:51 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why did they never just tear that shit down?
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3780
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 10:41 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Because the homeowners love the security of a real backyard fence. It runs right down the alley, stops for a side street, and picks up again, behind another block.

No need to maintain it. It is more stout than a Guiness.

jjaba, on the Westside.
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30th_street
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Username: 30th_street

Post Number: 10
Registered: 04-2006
Posted From: 152.163.100.8
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 10:59 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Do we have any info on who was the developer? or maybe who were the first African Americans to settle in the area. How they came to chose that spot to settle, was it an orgainized effort. It would be intersting to talk to some of the original folks that were there before the developers came.
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Jjaba
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Username: Jjaba

Post Number: 3785
Registered: 11-2003
Posted From: 67.160.138.107
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 11:08 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Black people came along W. Eight Mile Road as it was so far away, they could self-segregate.
Factories were built along there, and across the road was Oak Park Township, also a place for them to live. During WWII, the big defense plants attracted evne more to this area. They could live close to the rich and work as home workers, landscaping, drivers, etc.

The Wyoming bus was a lifeline all the way down to the Ford Rouge and the Desoto plants.

jjaba.
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Kathleen
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Username: Kathleen

Post Number: 1318
Registered: 10-2003
Posted From: 69.14.122.57
Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 8:25 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"A divisive wall is becoming a sign of unity"

Barrier that once separated races in Detroit displays healing artwork

The 6-foot-high concrete wall stretches for a half-mile, starting just south of 8 Mile Road, along an alley between Birwood and Mendota. It was built to divide the blacks living on one side from the whites living on the other.

Over the years, there has been talk of tearing down the wall because of the ugly divisiveness it represents.

But now the Motor City Blight Busters, an 18-year-old nonprofit that cleans up Detroit neighborhoods and rehabs dilapidated properties, is working with the neighborhood to paint a mural on a 310-foot section of the wall that runs along the western edge of Alphonso Wells Park. ..."

http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs .dll/article?AID=/20060517/NEW S01/605170429/1003
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Darwinism
Member
Username: Darwinism

Post Number: 507
Registered: 06-2005
Posted From: 69.215.30.34
Posted on Wednesday, May 17, 2006 - 8:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Why don't the graffiti artist exhibit their talents on this wall instead of tagging good structures that are in used ?

A half-mile long wall will provide ample canvas space for beautiful artwork for those who are seeking to show their creativity side.

Back to the Motor City Blight Busters, I comment them for the plan to use this wall as a signature of peace and unity from now on.

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