DETROIT 48202: CONVERSATIONS ALONG A POSTAL ROUTE examines the rise, demise, and contested resurgence of the City of Detroit through the lens of African- American mail carrier, Wendell Watkins, and the committed community he faithfully served for thirty years.
Detroit 48202 is incredibly powerful. The story is really important and we are proud that a letter carrier is telling it.
In Detroit 48202 we take a journey with Wendell along his route, which winds through the center of what was, once upon a time, a vital and thriving city. We listen in on his conversations with his customers – the resilient Detroiters who share stories of resistance: pushing back against racial segregation in housing; challenging industrial and political disinvestment; and living on reduced pensions as a result of the 2014 municipal bankruptcy. Our characters also share stories of hope and propose creative ways to re-imagine an inclusive, productive, equitable and re-invigorated city.
We also meet legendary labor organizer, General Baker, Historian Thomas Sugrue, and Urban Planner June Manning Thomas, who provide a thread of analysis and historical context.
DETROIT 48202: CONVERSATIONS ALONG A POSTAL ROUTE is urgent. It asks: will the resurgence of Detroit center on a high tech, and increasingly white downtown or, will it focus on the vast stretches of neglected neighborhoods that continue to deal with a 40% poverty rate, water shutoffs, tax foreclosures, poor transportation, and a school system in crisis?
DETROIT 48202 is an essential tool for teachers and community organizers whose work covers:
*Urban Planning/Equitable Development/Design
Detroit 48202 is searing—a powerful reckoning with what it looks like when capital abandons a major American city, and… stunningly beautiful reminder that corporate greed and ugly racism have utterly failed to destroy this same city.
DETROIT 48202 provides a rare inside-out perspective on the history of a city that embodies the effects of boom-and-bust capitalism and structural racism as well as the ongoing resilience of a spirited, steadfast and embattled African American community. As the inspirational figure at the film's center, Wendell Watkins offers an intimate, inviting glimpse of a world too often reduced to fatalistic headlines and lurid sound bites.