Bell Ringers

Bell Ringer: Detroit's Birwood Wall

Detroit's Birwood Wall

In 1941, a developer built the Birwood Wall in northwest Detroit that was meant to separate white and black homeowners in the city. Historian and tour guide Jamon Jordan showed the wall, which runs north to 8 Mile Road marking the northern border of Detroit, and he explained the wall’s symbolism over the past 80 years.

Description

In 1941, a developer built the Birwood Wall in northwest Detroit that was meant to separate white and black homeowners in the city. Historian and tour guide Jamon Jordan showed the wall, which runs north to 8 Mile Road marking the northern border of Detroit, and he explained the wall’s symbolism over the past 80 years.

Bell Ringer Assignment

  • Explain the origin of the wall.
  • Discuss the significance of the National Housing Act.
  • Describe some of the issues that were associated securing a home loan as Jamon Jordan explains.
  • Why did African Americans migrate to the Detroit area during the 1900s?
  • What housing problems arose during this time and how did African Americans respond?
  • Explain the controversy surrounding the government's role in developing and funding the community in this area.
  • Explain the response of the developer and the federal government to developing the community. How did this impact African American communities?
  • Describe the breakdown of the Home Owners' Loan Corporation map that Jamon Jordan discusses.
  • Explain the wealth gap that followed that Jamon Jordan describes.
  • Describe the current interpretation of the wall.

Participants

    Vocabulary

    • Fair Housing Act
    • Federal Housing Administration
    • Great Depression
    • Home Owners' Loan Corporation
    • Homogeneous
    • Mortgage
    • New Dea
    • Segregate

    Topics

    Civil Rights & Civil LibertiesState HistoryU.S. History

    Grades

    High SchoolUniversity