On Tuesday, a wall built more than 80 years ago to separate Black students from the area’s predominantly white neighborhood was torn down at Morgan State University.
The wall — known as the “spite wall” — was located in Northeast Baltimore at the old Northwood Plaza shopping center and has long been a symbol of racism within the community.
“In 1939, the neighbors started building what was labeled a “spite” wall, a hate wall, to prevent Morgan State students from simply walking across the street into the all-white neighborhood and to shop at an all-white shopping center here,” David Wilson, President of Morgan State University explained.
The removal of the wall is being celebrated by both the HBCU and the local community.
“We are definitely excited and finally glad to see this wall come down. It’s held us apart from each other for years, unnecessarily, so we are glad to see our homes be embraced by Morgan State,” said Bridgette Neal, president of the Hillen Road Improvement Association.
Wilson said the university has made a pledge to keep a portion of the spite wall on Hillen Road. He said he has asked the School of Architecture and Planning to make sure that it is preserved and never forgotten.
According to WBALTV, Morgan’s School of Architecture and Planning will use what’s left of the wall as a teaching and learning tool for students.
“Our Morgan wall will basically go the perimeter of the site, leaving wide openings to get into the shopping center, and just continuing to give a sense of place and a sense of security,” said Kim McCalla, the vice president of design and construction management at the school.
The portion of the “spite” wall that will remain up will become a university park at some point, to serve as a reminder of what happened.