DETROIT – A wall built in Detroit in 1941 to racially segregate Black and white neighborhoods has received historic designation from the state of Michigan.
The Birwood Wall, sometimes referred to as the Eight Mile Wall, was built by a white real estate developer in the Eight Mile and Wyoming area. It was meant to separate a newly build white subdivision, Blackstone Park, from an existing Black neighborhood nearby.
Detroit city officials, including mayor Mike Duggan, unveiled the historic marker from the Michigan Historical Commission on Monday near the wall, which still stands today, covered in art.
“The wall is a reminder of institutionalized racial segregation in the United States,” the sign reads.
The Eight Mile/Wyoming area where the wall is located has been heavily impacted by the housing crisis over the decades. The wall is now a backyard fence and mural for nearby residents.