Pam Sporn’s Detroit 48202: Conversations Along a Postal Route explores the rise, demise and contested resurgence of America’s “motor city” through a multi-generational choir of voices who reside in mail carrier Wendell Watkins’ work route. Archival footage and oral histories convey the impetus behind the African American migration up north to push against the boundaries of racial and economic segregation. The testimonials of Wendell’s neighbors and friends shed light on the impacts of redlining and the fight for housing justice, the legacy of industrial and political disinvestment, the fragility of Black home-ownership as impacted by the mortgage and financial crisis, and a confluence of events and failed policies that resulted in Detroit’s bankruptcy. Blamed for Detroit’s devastation but determined to survive, the resilient community offers creative solutions to re-imagine a more inclusive and equitable city.
Screening to be followed by discussion with the following:
Pam Sporn, Bronx based documentary filmmaker, educator, and activist
Rolando Guzman, Deputy Director for Community Preservation with St. Nick’s Alliance
Sybil Newton Cooksey, Scholar of afro-diasporic cultural history
This event is part of the Urban Democracy Lab’s participation in 400 Years of Inequality, observing the 400th Anniversary of the arrival in 1619 at Jamestown of the first Africans to be sold into bondage
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