DETROIT - This is what’s left of a six foot high, one foot thick concrete wall that symbolizes a troubled time in the history of Metropolitan Detroit. Once known as the “Wailing Wall” near 8 Mile and Wyoming, it was a physical barrier to separate black and white neighborhoods on the basis of race. Today, there’s just a remnant of this barrier, but it’s symbolic of an issue this mighty metropolitan area has never been able to totally breakdown - racial discrimination and resistance to multiculturalism.
Racial diversity and immigration has been our challenge and our strength. Through the years, Detroit has been called by many names. The Arsenal of Democracy. The Motor City. Motown. And sadly, the most segregated city in America. Eight Mile Road has long been the symbol of that divide. It’s a historical throwback to this wall.
Beginning Tuesday, at 5pm, our Detroit 2020 initiative will kickoff a groundbreaking series of reports on race – THE issue in Southeast, Michigan. How has it impacted most of the major issues in our communities including housing, education, transportation, religion, and politics? Where are we making progress and where are we continuing to fall woefully behind?
We’ve come a long way in race relations. From this negative symbol to young suburbanites and new immigrants moving into the city.
Strong walls of intolerance are built brick by brick with well made mortar of hate and ignorance to hold them together. We hope this Channel 7, Detroit 2020 series of reports on race and multiculturalism will Unify, Inspire and motivate our community to Act on removing these final bricks that are a stumbling block to a bright future. It’s an issue we must continue to confront and fully resolve in order to survive as a region.
Broadcast: July 8 - 11, 2011
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