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Built in 1940 this wall presaged the racial divisions that have come to be symbolized by 8 Mile Road.

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  8 MILE ROAD 

Sometimes called Detroit's mini Berlin Wall, sometimes called the Wailing Wall, this seemingly innocent looking wall in Joe Louis Park does little to betray its shameful past.

After World War I, some black residents of Detroit moved into a then rural and vacant area near the intersection of Wyoming and Eight Mile. In 1940, a developer sought to build homes for middle income whites in a nearby area. However, the Federal Housing Administration's policies of that era precluded their approving loans in racially mixed areas. To secure FHA approval, this developer put up a wall six feet high, one foot in width and one-half mile in length to clearly demark the white and black areas. His wall led FHA to approve loans for his project.



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