Segregation and Social Justice in Metropolitan Detroit

What are the causes and consequences of segregation? If Dr. King were to return today, what steps would he take to strengthen social justice? This module examine the forces that shape metropolitan areas, and affect the residents who locate there. It includes the famous 8 mile wall built to separate Blacks and Whites in metropolitan Detroit.

Barry Checkoway is a professor at the University of Michigan, and co-director of the Youth Dialogues on Race and Ethnicity in Metropolitan Detroit, and of the Youth Civil Rights Academy.

Questions to Consider and Discuss
  • What is segregation? What are the causes of segregation? What are the consequences?
  • Why do bankers and builders invest in the suburbs and disinvest from urban neighborhoods? If you were a builder, would you build in the suburbs or neighborhoods?
  • Why do some people choose to live in the suburbs, while others live in urban neighborhoods?
  • What should people do with the wall? Tear it down? Protest in front of it? Bring students to learn from it?
  • Are there ways to build bridges across the walls — or boundaries — that separate us?
  • Why do people march for civil rights? If Dr. King returned today, what would he think about what metropolitan Detroit has become? What steps would he take to make change?