In the early 1960s, a small group of Black American families became part of a daring social experiment in the City of Brotherly Love. A visionary real estate developer decided to once and for all end housing discrimination by offering young, middle-class Black couples the chance to buy into a new suburban development--an unheard-of practice, even in a city as liberal as Philadelphia. This new community was also right in the middle of an openly hostile White community.
These Black couples had little choice: going back meant living in substandard housing or unsafe public housing. Going forward meant facing racial bigotry and violence, often quietly sanctioned by the police.
They risked everything, including at times, their own lives, to create a better life for their children and to realize the dream of integration.
A small, nondescript playground wall became both a popular hangout as well as a symbol of self-determination for the Black children coming of age in the era of Black Pride. But as these children became teenagers, the violence they faced intensified.
Outnumbered and surrounded on all sides of their neighborhood, they fought back with the only weapon they had---each other. And the few White children from the "other side" of The Wall, who also risked their safety by developing friendships with "the enemy".
40 years later, the filmmaker---himself a product of The Wall and its Penrose Family---returns home, along with many others, to finally uncover the meaning of that era and its impact on their lives.
"The Wall" is a powerful and inspiring story, a film for anyone who has found themselves building a wall to protect what they love, then venturing past that wall to confront their greatest fears.