We are witnessing an ongoing fight against teaching history in the context of racism. Yet, there are monuments and structures around the country that memorialize the racist hatred Black people endured. Morgan State University took a step forward by demolishing a segregation wall built by white residents to spite the students, per NBC News.
In the 1930s, the white residents of Baltimore built the red brick wall, or “spite wall,” near the school’s entrance along Hillen Road. The wall was in direct response to the growing number of Morgan State students as the institution went from private to public in 1939, the report says. As a result, students were blocked from walking across the street into the white neighborhood or shopping center. Around that time as well, the city began restricting the areas where Black people could live. Students from every class since that time and the Civil Rights Era walked among the campus with a constant reminder of what it meant to be rejected for their skin color.
That is until the university called for the wall’s destruction. Now, they plan to use that space to expand their campus.
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“It’s really overwhelming to be honest. We are very excited. I’ve been here for 16 years, but I’ve heard plenty of residents who have talked about this wall being very restrictive and not inclusive of the community, “Bridgette Neal, President of the Hillen Road Improvement Association, said.
Morgan State University has been intentional about including local residents in the redevelopment of the area, working in partnership with neighbors and always seeking their input. As part of the redevelopment, the university has constructed academic facilities, a bookstore, and thriving shops.
“From paint colors to the size of buildings and then that matters again, it’s inclusion that matters, so we are appreciative of that forever partnership because Morgan State is a part of our community,” said Neal.
Typically, the demolishment of historic structures that memorialize racism are met with a clan of fake history junkies who argue that it’s crucial to keep those structures in place, despite the hate they hold.
However, CBS reports residents are enthusiastic about the removal of the wall and watched as the excavator destroyed it Tuesday, alongside University President David Wilson and students. However, for the purpose of remembering the historical significance of this wall, not every piece will be taken away.
“Hate, never ever wins, and Morgan State University is coming face-to-face with that, and we are preserving a certain part of that because we want to always be able to tell our story,” said President Wilson.