Since its inception, One Detroit has shared stories that bring value and context to our audience’s daily lives. The One Detroit team now re-shares some of these impactful stories in a series of “Best Of” episodes. Tonight, One Detroit presents Best Of: Detroit History.

This Week on One Detroit:

A Symbol of Racial Divide: The Legacy of Detroit’s Birwood Wall

A simple cinder block wall, built 80 years ago, still stands at Detroit’s northern border just off Eight Mile Road, west of Wyoming Avenue. It’s been called the Wailing Wall, the Eight Mile Wall and the Birwood Wall because it went up along Birwood Street, a lasting symbol of racism during the war years when Detroit became America’s Arsenal of Democracy.

After One Detroit’s partner BridgeDetroit, along with NBC News, did some extensive new reporting on the legacy of the wall, talking to people that lived in that neighborhood, One Detroit’s Bill Kubota gets the inside scoop from reporters and author Gerald Van Dusen about the wall and what it means to Detroiters eight decades later.

The Highway Toll on People of Color 

Are Detroit’s highways relics of structural racism from the past? As the country sees a new wave of conversations around racial equality enter the mainstream headlines, One Detroit Associate Producer Will Glover talks with freelance writer Nithin Vejendla, whose article sparked the story, Wayne State law professor and Director of the Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights Peter Hammer, Detroit historian with Black Scroll Network  Jamon Jordan, and University of Detroit Mercy School of Architecture Dean and Detroit Collaborative Design Center Dan Pitera to examine Detroit’s historic highways, and what residents and the city can do to reckon with the past.

The History of Detroit’s Celebrated Boxing Scene

Detroit’s rich history of boxing around the city has produced numerous champions including Joe Louis, Thomas “Hitman” Hearns and Hilmer Kentry to name a few. Whether at the famous Kronk Gym, where it originally sat on McGraw Avenue in Detroit, or at the city’s Golden Gloves Tournament, Detroit has been a training ground for some of the best amateurs and professionals in the sport of boxing.

In celebration of the city’s storied boxing history, American Black Journal Producer Marcus Green talks to Hall of Fame Boxer Thomas Hearns, Hall of Boxing Referee Frank Garza, Former World Welterweight Boxing Champion Milton McCrory, amateur boxer Deion Plummer, boxing manager Jackie Kallen, and more on the sport’s early days in Detroit and how it embedded itself into the city’s story.


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