Detroit wall dividing whites and blacks in 1940s remains, spurs art, jobs and object lessons

Detroit has a wall that's six feet tall, a foot thick and a half-mile long — much as when it was built in the 1940s.

The aim was simple: separate homes planned for whites from blacks who had built small houses in the neighborhood. That gave the green light to the federal government to back loans for the whites.

Over time, the demographics changed but the wall remained.

Several years ago, an artist turned part of it into a massive mural with images of equality and justice. Some of those images are being incorporated into coasters by men struggling with homelessness and unemployment, using materials from abandoned homes that were razed.

The director of the organization overseeing their work says every sale prompts "great discussions" about the wall and race.