Legacy Committee

Legacy Commission

In the 21st century, Charlotte is a city that is growing fast, simultaneously becoming more racially and ethnically diverse and socioeconomically disparate. A mosaic of longtime residents and newcomers from across the U.S. and around the world creates both a dynamic cultural landscape and new challenges that force us to consider issues of equity and inclusion.

There is a legacy of racial discrimination in Charlotte that has denied African Americans and other people of color the opportunities to participate fully in the city’s government, civic life, economy and educational advancement. Vestiges of this legacy are symbolically represented in streets, monuments, and buildings named in honor of slave owners, champions of the Confederacy, and proponents of white supremacy.

The Commission recommends changing street names and reimagining civic spaces to create a new symbolic landscape that is representative of the dynamic and diverse city Charlotte has become and reflective of the inclusive vision it strives to achieve.



00:00

so we will get started um thank you all

00:02

again for joining us this evening

00:04

we are so happy to have you with us um

00:06

for this workshop

00:07

entitled understanding through history

00:10

lessons from the legacy commission

00:12

my name is nichelle wilson with the city

00:14

of charlotte's community engagement

00:15

division

00:16

and tonight we're going to have a very

00:18

important discussion on the historical

00:20

perspectives

00:21

that was offered to the legacy

00:23

commission that informed their

00:24

recommendations and we're going to learn

00:26

a little bit about their recommendations

00:28

we'll learn about um we'll hear from

00:31

two historians in our area that just

00:34

tells us a little bit about

00:35

how we got to where we are and so this

00:38

is a very important discussion

00:40

we have this opportunity to learn and to

00:42

grow together

00:44

and that's important as we build a

00:46

stronger community

00:48

we welcome full participation in this

00:50

discussion so you do have the option to

00:53

use the q a feature which should be at

00:55

the bottom of your screen

00:56

to type in any questions that you have

00:59

we'll do our best to get to those

01:00

questions

01:01

at the end we also are recording this

01:04

presentation

01:05

so this will be made available to you on

01:07

the community engagement training

01:09

on demand page so that should be

01:11

available in about two weeks

01:13

so we encourage you all to participate

01:15

we encourage you all to share

01:17

if you're joining us via facebook um

01:19

share it with your friends and your

01:20

family

01:21

just to learn a little bit more about um

01:24

this important um topic

01:27

tonight we are joined by three guests

01:30

our first guest is emily kunzie and she

01:33

is the assistant to the city manager

01:35

for the city of charlotte emily will

01:37

speak to us about the legacy commission

01:39

and their recommendations next we have

01:42

dr

01:42

karen l cox dr cox is a professor

01:45

of history at the university of north

01:47

carolina at charlotte

01:49

where she teaches a variety of courses

01:51

on southern history and culture

01:53

she is the author of four books that

01:55

examine the american south

01:57

including her most recent no common

01:59

ground

02:00

confederate monuments and the ongoing

02:02

fight for racial justice

02:04

published by unc press in april 2021

02:08

dr cox also founded and directs the

02:11

graduate program

02:12

in public history at unc charlotte and

02:14

is an active public

02:16

intellectual having written opens for

02:19

new i'm sorry for the new york times the

02:21

washington post

02:22

time magazine smithsonian magazine and

02:24

cnn

02:26

our final panelist is dr willie j

02:28

griffin

02:29

dr griffin is a late 19th and 20th

02:32

century historian of the south

02:34

specializing in the historic black press

02:37

and charlotte's local african-american

02:39

history as a charlotte native

02:42

he returned home to join the levine

02:44

museum of the new south as its staff

02:46

historian in 2018

02:48

dr griffin previously served as an

02:50

assistant professor of african american

02:52

history at the citadel

02:54

he holds a doctorate in u.s history from

02:56

the university of north carolina

02:58

at chapel hill and so we welcome my

03:00

three guests tonight

03:02

we are looking forward to an empowering

03:04

and impactful discussion

03:06

and i would like to thank each of you

03:07

all for being here and without further

03:09

ado i'll turn it over to emily

03:14

good evening um thank you for joining us

03:17

tonight i'm just going to give some

03:18

brief introductory remarks

03:22

in may 2020 following the murder of

03:24

george floyd by police

03:26

historic large-scale protests erupted

03:29

here in charlotte

03:30

and throughout the entire nation

03:32

spreading to countries around the world

03:35

these protesters demanded an end to

03:37

systemic racism and equities in our

03:39

nation

03:40

with the goal of changing our country

03:41

for the better of all its people

03:44

a dynamic movement emerged from these

03:46

protests to dismantle the tributes to

03:49

racists

03:50

slave owners white supremacists and

03:52

confederate leaders

03:53

that exist throughout our country in the

03:55

form of memorials

03:56

monuments street names and other symbols

04:00

in june of 2020 mayor lyles convened

04:03

the legacy commission a committee of 15

04:06

members

04:07

composed of charlotte historians

04:09

journalists and public servants

04:11

to engage in a comprehensive study of

04:14

charlotte street names

04:15

and monuments that memorialized the

04:17

legacy of

04:19

of confederate soldiers slave owners and

04:21

segregationists

04:23

the commission found that quote there is

04:26

a legacy of racial discrimination in

04:28

charlotte

04:29

that has denied african americans and

04:31

other people of color

04:32

the opportunities to participate fully

04:35

in the city's government

04:36

civic life economy and educational

04:39

advancement

04:40

vestiges of this legacy are symbolically

04:43

represented in streets

04:44

monuments and buildings named in honor

04:47

of slave owners

04:48

champions of the confederacy and

04:50

proponents of white supremacy

04:52

end quote the legacy commission

04:55

made several recommendations that were

04:57

unanimous

04:58

unanimously adopted by city council in

05:01

february 2021.

05:03

these recommendations include first

05:06

changing the names of nine streets named

05:08

for leaders of the confederacy

05:10

slave owners and white supremacists and

05:13

supporting efforts

05:14

for additional street name changes

05:17

second

05:18

they recommended reimagining the

05:20

commemorative landscape

05:22

in charlotte to align with the values

05:24

and diversity of today charlotte

05:26

and third educating residents about

05:28

charlotte's ties to slavery

05:30

the confederacy and white supremacy and

05:32

how the legacy

05:34

of slavery and segregation continue to

05:36

impact people's lives

05:37

and shape the community today

05:40

the city of charlotte is committed to

05:42

action and committed to implementing the

05:44

commission's recommendations

05:47

beginning with street name changes the

05:49

study is currently engaged with the

05:51

druid hills community

05:52

to rename jefferson davis street the

05:55

city will engage other communities in

05:56

charlotte

05:57

over the course of the next 12 months to

05:59

rename all nine streets

06:01

today's program will focus on how a

06:03

confederate landscape came to be what

06:06

that means in both

06:07

charlotte specifically and the south

06:08

generally and why better representation

06:11

of the city's history is necessary

06:14

i want to thank and welcome dr karen cox

06:17

and dr willy griffin

06:18

for making this important presentation

06:20

today

06:22

thank you

06:27

thank you um i'm going to

06:30

share my screen with those of you

06:32

watching and

06:36

now it's saying like let's see i should

06:38

be able to share

06:39

all right here we go

06:47

i want to say first of all i'm really um

06:49

pleased that i

06:50

you know had the opportunity to do this

06:53

this work on on behalf

06:54

of a city that i've called home since

06:57

2002

06:59

and what i'd like to do is share with

07:01

you

07:02

um uh sort of the broader context

07:05

so that you understand how charlotte

07:08

mike

07:09

does fit into

07:12

the commemoration of the confederacy

07:14

through something called the lost cause

07:16

which i'll explain

07:17

and the ways in which charlotte

07:19

participated in perpetuating

07:22

uh the myths of the lost cause

07:27

i want to say you know that the key

07:30

points of understanding for

07:31

this evening uh presentation is that i

07:34

want to talk about what the lost cause

07:36

is

07:36

what the phases are of that and then

07:39

charlotte's role again

07:40

i'll only do this briefly but because dr

07:43

griffin will give a more detailed

07:46

description

07:47

and historical context around

07:50

charlotte's

07:51

participation in the lost cause and also

07:54

in the white supremacy campaigns

07:58

the lost cause is uh is a

08:01

subject that a lot of historians know

08:03

about and read about and it's not always

08:05

understood by

08:06

by the public but the lost cause um

08:10

the term comes from a book that was

08:12

published in 1866

08:14

uh by a man named edward pollard and it

08:16

was an attempt to justify

08:19

um what the the confederacy uh

08:22

despite the fact that uh it had lost

08:25

uh in in a way and just provide sort of

08:28

a

08:28

a blueprint um for uh white southerners

08:32

going forward

08:33

uh to in a way to deal with defeat and

08:36

uh and so uh it's called the lost cause

08:40

in other words it suggests that the

08:41

confederacy was a

08:43

cause of sorts and uh it's meant to

08:46

sort of help white southerners again

08:49

deal with um

08:51

a a resounding defeat

08:54

by 1865. well the myths of the lost

08:58

calls and that's where i think

09:00

that a lot of public discussions are

09:05

about these days has to do with the

09:08

myths of the lost call so the lost cause

09:10

is this narrative

09:12

um with its own myths and then the lost

09:15

cause it's also

09:16

this sort of a movement that includes

09:19

the creation of confederate heritage

09:22

organizations

09:23

as well as uh uh things like the

09:26

monuments and markers that were we're

09:28

talking about this evening

09:29

so some of the basic myths are that

09:32

people

09:33

don't believe that the civil war was

09:34

fought over slavery

09:36

um and uh somehow um

09:40

you know the confederacy only was only

09:42

defeated because

09:43

of the north's uh superior forces

09:46

resources

09:47

um and then that slavery is somehow a

09:49

benign institution that masters or

09:51

quote-unquote good to their slaves so

09:54

these are the basic myths there's many

09:56

more of those

09:57

um including things like you know that

10:00

the ku klux klan for example

10:03

were to be regarded as heroes for having

10:06

restored

10:06

um white supremacy uh which

10:10

which um again the lost cause is one of

10:13

these things that

10:15

that crosses generations and has been in

10:18

effect

10:19

ever since the end of the civil war such

10:21

that even today

10:23

more than a century and a half after the

10:25

war ended

10:26

you will still hear people say that the

10:29

civil war

10:30

was fought over states rights and not

10:32

slavery

10:33

but we know for fact and we have

10:37

documents that prove otherwise

10:41

so we have to think about this in terms

10:44

of historical phases

10:46

in terms of confederate memorialization

10:48

because initially

10:50

um the way that things unfolded

10:53

was initially through confederate

10:56

through the monuments and i want to talk

10:58

about the phases of the lost cause

10:59

through monuments

11:01

through monument building so there was a

11:03

phase of confederate bereavement

11:06

in the period of reconstruction when

11:09

the very first monuments were erected

11:12

and they tended to be erected in

11:13

cemeteries where the confederate

11:15

soldiers were buried

11:17

and in in many ways the the obelisk

11:21

that's in elmwood cemetery even though

11:24

it's a little bit later than that

11:25

period i just described really kind of

11:27

fits into that

11:29

initial phase of monument building

11:33

again in the cemetery where the

11:36

confederate dead

11:37

are buried

11:40

once you get beyond that you begin to

11:43

see you know a focus

11:44

on celebrating the confederacy once

11:47

federal troops have

11:48

been removed from the region and former

11:51

confederates have

11:52

come back into power in state

11:54

legislatures

11:56

and and uh even local uh political

11:58

office

11:59

you begin to see the lost calls take on

12:02

a tone of celebration

12:03

about about the confederacy and

12:07

um and nothing probably is more

12:09

celebratory and more iconic a

12:11

celebration

12:13

than the unveiling of the robert e lee

12:15

monument in richmond virginia

12:18

and in 1890 so that was another phase of

12:21

the lost cause

12:23

and then beginning in 1890 you see what

12:26

um

12:26

the law schools enters a new phase one

12:29

that's

12:30

that is uh definitely led by women

12:33

in the united daughters of the

12:34

confederacy and in this phase

12:37

the focus here then is about vindicating

12:40

the confederacy

12:41

vindicating um uh them from defeat

12:45

uh by you know focusing on that this

12:48

this messaging that the confederacy uh

12:51

that the confederate calls was a just

12:53

cause that it was a sacred cause that

12:55

these men were right

12:56

that states rights as you know their

12:59

defense of states rights

13:01

uh was really about their being

13:03

patriotic

13:04

and uh showing their loyalty to the us

13:08

constitution um without you know ever

13:11

sort of talking always about

13:15

uh the issue of slavery so this even by

13:18

you know 30 years after the war you

13:20

begin to

13:21

uh to see that that slavery has been

13:23

erased

13:24

um as a cause of war and it's something

13:26

that that

13:27

white southerners should even be

13:29

concerned about but the 1890s is really

13:32

an

13:32

important period to understand it's not

13:34

just the rise

13:36

of additional confederate

13:37

memorialization

13:39

and that's why i want to talk about the

13:41

historical context

13:43

and dr griffin will as well i think will

13:45

re-emphasize what i'm about to talk

13:47

about

13:48

here you begin in that same period that

13:51

the confederate uh

13:53

memorialization really goes on uh

13:57

really peaks and uh this is when

14:00

most of the monuments are built it's

14:02

when street names start to be

14:04

you start to see street names being

14:06

given names for of after confederates

14:08

um and so what you see happening in the

14:11

1890s

14:12

with the rise of the confederacy

14:14

confederate memorialization

14:16

movement we're seeing the

14:19

that southern whites are really trying

14:21

to eradicate

14:23

african-american progress um a lot of

14:26

which was

14:27

was provided you know through the

14:28

reconstruction amendments

14:30

so there's an attack against

14:32

african-american progress

14:34

in in attempts to erase uh them from

14:37

participation in politics and even

14:40

economically

14:42

um part of that was disfranchising

14:46

disenfranchisement

14:47

um in a backlash to the 14th amendment

14:50

which provided them with citizenship

14:52

uh and also the 15th amendment which

14:54

provided african-american men the right

14:56

to vote

14:57

these laws uh were uh were being put on

15:01

the books

15:02

uh in the south that were

15:03

disenfranchising uh

15:05

african-american men from voting and

15:07

trying to remove them from office so

15:10

this is one this is another thing and it

15:12

provides the backdrop

15:14

to the confederate memorial

15:16

memorialization

15:17

movement in the 1890s and beyond is this

15:20

is what's happening

15:22

alongside the erection of monuments the

15:25

placing of markers the naming of streets

15:29

jim crow is being legalized in this

15:31

period

15:32

and uh in that sent these laws that are

15:35

passed that are

15:36

that are segregating public facilities

15:39

for example

15:40

and you see the signs that go up that we

15:43

recognize as jim crow signs this is

15:45

happening

15:46

in that period alongside the rise of

15:50

these

15:50

confederate organizations and monument

15:53

building

15:55

and then the other attack of course is

15:58

on the bodies of of african-american men

16:01

women and even children the racial

16:03

violence against

16:04

that the african-american community

16:07

there was a real epidemic of lynching

16:10

in the 1890s but as we know these things

16:13

continued on

16:14

well into the 20th century so all of

16:16

these things are happening as a backdrop

16:19

to to these things i'm going to talk

16:22

about confederate memorialization

16:25

so if you wanted to understand it and i

16:27

hope you can see this graph

16:29

uh okay a confederate monument building

16:32

has been happening ever since the end of

16:34

the civil war so in every decade

16:37

since the civil uh since the end of the

16:39

civil war

16:40

there have been monuments uh built

16:43

across the region

16:44

even in the last decade but the peak

16:47

period

16:48

is that period between 1890 and 1920

16:53

as you can see by the blue dots blue and

16:56

red dots

16:58

many of these monuments went on the

17:00

grounds of courthouses

17:03

but also in public parks also uh

17:06

on the grounds of state houses as i

17:09

say here the majority again were placed

17:13

really on the grounds of of governmental

17:15

institutions on the on the landscape

17:17

around

17:18

courthouses and around state capitals

17:22

so what does that message what kind of

17:25

message does that send and we

17:27

it reminds um people who are who's in

17:30

charge of their

17:31

of the local government state government

17:34

all of these things it reminds

17:36

it is a it honors confederate soldiers

17:39

uh who fought to preserve anglo-saxon

17:42

aka white supremacy and i say that

17:45

nava calls that you know and we know

17:48

that

17:48

and sometimes and then the case of

17:50

charlotte we actually have them

17:52

we had a memorial that actually had that

17:54

language on it

17:56

but at the unveiling of a lot of these

17:58

monuments and markers

18:00

there would be someone given a speech

18:02

and very often

18:03

in that in those speeches and there are

18:05

many of them out there

18:07

that would say we're honoring these men

18:09

today and we're honoring not only for

18:11

their service to the confederacy

18:12

but also for their role in what they

18:15

would say preserving anglo-saxon

18:17

supremacy which is white supremacy

18:20

um we know that these monuments

18:24

as representatives of that are standing

18:27

outside of those

18:28

again uh the the doors of government

18:31

whether that's at the capitol or

18:33

local courthouse and that's where uh

18:35

white supremacy is being enshrined into

18:37

law

18:38

and again they serve as reminders of

18:40

second-class citizenship

18:43

which is why you know today we're having

18:45

these debates

18:46

and why there are efforts underway to

18:49

try to remove these

18:50

but then the backlash of course are

18:52

these monument laws that are

18:54

have prevented that from happening

18:58

so what is charlotte's role in

19:00

perpetuating the lost cause and

19:02

and dr griffin is going to go into this

19:03

more deeply than i

19:05

am but i just want to remind everyone

19:07

that charlotte wasn't this new south

19:10

city um it's it's you know the the

19:12

reputation of charlotte today

19:14

um charlotte didn't look like this at

19:17

all in the late 19th century and early

19:19

20th century when these things were

19:21

taking place

19:22

charlotte was a very small town a small

19:25

southern town like any southern town

19:28

across the region across the south and

19:30

so in many ways

19:31

charlotte um

19:35

responded in very similar ways to the

19:38

the ideas around confederate

19:40

memorialization as they did in any other

19:43

southern state or any other southern

19:45

city so it's important to remember

19:47

uh remember that that charlotte wasn't

19:50

what it is today

19:51

um a hundred years ago uh or 150 years

19:55

ago

19:57

one of the things that that happened um

20:00

was the

20:01

19 you know and the ways in which uh

20:03

charlotte contributed to

20:05

this like enshrining the lost calls into

20:08

the

20:08

culture of of charlotte was to sponsor

20:12

the

20:13

1929 united uh confederate veterans

20:16

reunion

20:17

there was a parade um

20:20

down uh it was on trion street um and

20:23

you can

20:24

you can see this actually watch this

20:26

video that i've got a screen capture of

20:29

on right here so there was this big

20:31

parade these are kinds of things that

20:33

would happen in other southern cities

20:35

uh where the confederacy was very well

20:38

regarded

20:38

so this is one example and it's during

20:41

that reunion when

20:43

when a confederate monument is built and

20:45

i'll show you that in just a minute

20:49

um in 1958 uh charlotte hosted

20:52

um the cap alpha fraternity what was

20:54

known as the old south

20:56

week in 1958 you can see the cover of

20:59

the um

21:00

the charlotte observer um trade street

21:03

was

21:04

briefly renamed confederate boulevard

21:07

there was a secession ceremony out in

21:09

front of the mecklenburg county

21:11

courthouse

21:12

as you can see in the images here so

21:14

this is another way in which

21:16

charlotte participated in uh

21:19

the lost cause and also participated in

21:22

um perpetuating

21:26

these kinds of ideas around confederate

21:28

memory

21:32

a lot of people might be surprised to

21:34

know that in 1996 there was a

21:36

confederate parade

21:38

uh in uptown um and as

21:41

you can see in the from the the observer

21:43

it was the largest since 1929 that first

21:46

one i showed you

21:47

um and part of this was about um

21:50

commemorating these they had placed some

21:53

uh

21:53

headstones in the elmwood cemetery and

21:56

it was a part of a celebration

21:58

of having achieved that but again

22:01

you imagine in 1996 in uptown charlotte

22:05

people walking

22:06

through the city dressed in confederate

22:09

uniforms

22:10

and waving confederate battle flags

22:13

through the through the center city and

22:16

what that might

22:17

have felt like for citizens of color

22:23

so charlotte is slightly different

22:26

from other um cities in the time

22:29

in terms of its confederate uh landscape

22:32

and

22:32

in terms of monuments it doesn't have

22:35

that many and

22:36

um we'll just go through the three that

22:39

that i'm aware of

22:40

um we have elmwood cemetery the obelisk

22:44

that was erected in 1887 which i

22:46

mentioned

22:46

earlier uh that's totally fits in with

22:49

the lost cause of the 19th century in

22:51

that early phase

22:53

of memorialization

22:57

and then we had the monument or marker

22:59

that was erected in 1929 during that

23:02

confederate reunion

23:04

this is excuse me this is the the marker

23:07

um which um actually has probably the

23:11

most egregious most

23:12

racist language of any monument i've

23:14

ever seen and i study monuments and

23:16

wrote a book about it

23:18

which is if i read you from that it's

23:21

it's said that

23:22

talks about these men as having

23:24

preserved the anglo-saxon civilization

23:27

of the south so preserving what they're

23:30

saying

23:30

is preserving white supremacy and that's

23:32

part of the reason that they should be

23:34

honored

23:35

so this was removed this is a county

23:37

owned

23:38

marker it was removed in in the summer

23:42

of 2020 after the george floyd murder

23:45

i'm not sure where it is the other

23:48

is um is the judep benjamin marker

23:51

that was on tryon street um

23:54

that was actually was placed and i said

23:57

placed by the udc

23:58

if you read what the monument said it

24:00

was like it was erected

24:02

um in honor of jude p benjamin who was

24:05

um a jewish uh of jewish descent and he

24:09

he was the attorney general secretary of

24:11

war and secretary of state for the

24:12

confederacy

24:14

and so the uh temple israel and temple

24:16

bethel the

24:18

congregations actually created this

24:20

marker

24:22

and it says as a gift to the north

24:25

carolina division of the united

24:26

daughters of the confederacy

24:28

in 1948 so that

24:31

existed for a while and then of course

24:34

um last summer

24:35

it was also defaced and then the city of

24:38

charlotte uh

24:38

it says had removed it i again i'm not

24:41

sure if it's in storage or where it

24:43

might be but that

24:44

that marker two has been removed but

24:46

that was part

24:47

of the confederate uh monuments uh

24:50

in charlotte and then the third is the

24:54

confederate monument that was unveiled

24:56

on the grounds of

24:57

what is now old city hall in 1977

25:01

which is very late 112 years after the

25:04

civil war ended

25:06

um it was moved into the

25:09

into elmwood cemetery in 2015

25:13

after the charleston massacre and after

25:15

it had been um

25:16

vandalized but this particular monument

25:19

was one

25:20

um that i actually write about in in my

25:22

book on

25:23

on monuments because it was um uh

25:26

harvey gantt was a young you know

25:28

councilman on the city council and he

25:30

was

25:31

um the one person who held tried to hold

25:34

people to account for having uh allowed

25:38

this particular

25:39

uh marker to go on the grounds of

25:41

government

25:42

and uh he said as much even though he

25:44

was the only naval

25:46

um on the city council that year but

25:49

again

25:49

that has been moved into that section of

25:51

the cemetery in elmwood cemetery

25:54

where that obelisk is

25:57

and i'll just uh close because i want to

26:00

need to turn this over to dr griffin

26:02

that the confederate memorial landscape

26:04

of charlotte is more than monuments

26:07

as any city in the south is it includes

26:10

street names

26:11

it includes things markers like the one

26:14

on the right

26:15

so um i thank you and i'm sure i'll

26:20

get some questions once this is once

26:23

willie's completed his

26:24

his uh presentation so thank you

26:31

thank you dr cox um let me see if i can

26:34

get my screen up

26:49

okay um so yeah i'm going to talk a

26:53

little more give you a little more

26:54

detail

26:55

about um charlotte's role in the the

26:58

confederacy the civil war

26:59

the lost cause because traditionally

27:01

when we talk about the city's history um

27:06

especially as it relates to civil war

27:07

history we have been sort of written out

27:09

of that history

27:10

and this has largely uh been because

27:13

there were no major battles

27:15

when we think about civil war history in

27:17

the united states we mostly talk about

27:18

places that experienced

27:20

um that were disrupted because of the

27:22

civil war places like

27:23

um charleston or um richmond um atlanta

27:27

but charlotte because there were no

27:28

major battles in or around charlotte

27:31

um we have not been present in this

27:34

telling of the story

27:35

um but we cannot really um be mistaken

27:38

in reality the city did play a

27:39

significant role in the civil war

27:41

um and this is something that um city

27:44

leaders and city residents

27:45

have to be aware of um the the city

27:48

can really no longer hide behind the

27:51

vacated progressivism

27:52

particularly in the face of recent

27:54

national discussions about

27:56

um the legacy of the confederacy on

27:58

white supremacy and the lost cause

28:00

um and so what i want to do is talk

28:03

about

28:04

uh some of those things and and like dr

28:06

cox

28:07

um the key points of understanding i

28:09

think are really important is that um

28:11

charlotte

28:12

contributed greatly to the confederate

28:14

cause during the civil war

28:16

charlotte's role in supporting elements

28:17

of the lost cause

28:19

particularly elements that aren't

28:20

usually um talked about in the lost

28:23

cause

28:24

of narrative and as well as charlotte's

28:26

role in promoting

28:27

white supremacy so i'll begin by just

28:30

talking

28:31

about um the voices of secession um

28:34

during the civil war

28:36

um with the election of abraham lincoln

28:39

which brought

28:39

about brought sexualism sectionalism

28:42

between the north and south um to a head

28:45

on the eve of the civil war charlotte

28:48

city leaders look to four men

28:50

um in particular for guidance on the the

28:52

course of action for the city

28:54

and each of these men um captain william

28:57

r

28:57

myers you may um recognize it was

28:59

william

29:00

the name myers itself it was his son who

29:03

was responsible for building myers park

29:06

um

29:06

and so the name myers is a prominent

29:09

name

29:10

in the city general daniel h hill i

29:12

believe you saw an image of west hill

29:14

street

29:15

um at the start of this program and so

29:17

daniel hill was another prominent person

29:19

um as well as charles lee and john brown

29:22

we don't know much about charles lee and

29:24

john brown

29:25

in my research i i have um uncovered

29:27

some evidence that um

29:29

charles lee may have been um a distant

29:32

cousin of robert e lee

29:34

so there is that connection um that we

29:37

have to uh really be aware of

29:39

but um at the outbreak of the civil war

29:42

myers was

29:42

43 years old and a successful lawyer and

29:46

real estate prospector

29:47

he had served in the army of the

29:50

republic of texas

29:51

in its war against mexico so when the

29:54

war

29:54

broke out as a veteran he became an

29:57

organizer

29:58

of the vigilant of a vigilance committee

30:01

that was assembled to protect the

30:02

community

30:03

from incendiary fires that were normally

30:05

started by

30:06

folks who were not supportive of the

30:08

confederate cause and

30:10

enslaved people he eventually

30:13

volunteered for military service

30:16

and was able because of his wealth he

30:17

supplied the necessary equipment

30:19

for an early company that was formed

30:23

in charlotte the 34th north carolina

30:25

infantry and he was commissioned as

30:27

captain

30:28

um in september of 1861 and remained

30:31

in the confederate army until april 1862

30:35

when the regiment was reorganized

30:37

um hill on the other hand was a much

30:40

more prominent

30:41

um figure in the civil war he was a

30:44

native of

30:45

york south carolina and not far from

30:47

charlotte but it was a 1942

30:50

west point graduate and a veteran of the

30:53

mexican-american war

30:54

um following his service he became in

30:57

the mexican-american war he became a

30:59

professor

31:00

of mathematics um first at washington

31:02

college and later at davidson college

31:05

right you know in mecklenburg county

31:08

he became widely known for a college

31:10

textbook called

31:11

elements of algebra in which she

31:14

humorously uses

31:15

algebra questions to ridicule all things

31:18

um

31:19

northern and you know and yankees and so

31:22

this is leading up in 1950

31:23

1857 leading up to um the civil war

31:27

and in 1859 um he founded the north

31:30

carolina military academy which was

31:32

located

31:32

um here in charlotte and i'm talking

31:34

just a little bit more about that in a

31:36

second

31:37

but at the outbreak of the civil war

31:39

hill was

31:40

made a colonel of the first north

31:42

carolina volunteers

31:44

and this is significant because um he

31:47

led the

31:47

the the first northland volunteers into

31:50

one of the first

31:50

land battles of the civil war in um fort

31:54

monroe uh virginia

31:56

the battle was called big um battle of

31:58

big bethel

31:59

and it was one of the first victories of

32:01

the for the confederacy so it was really

32:03

important

32:04

um one month after um the battle the

32:07

victory he was promoted to brigadier

32:09

general

32:10

and commanded troops in the richmond

32:12

area and by the spring of the following

32:14

year

32:15

he had risen um to the rank of major

32:17

general

32:18

and division commander of the army of of

32:21

northern virginia

32:22

so these were um particularly in the

32:24

case of hill and and charles lee

32:26

was also a general in the um during the

32:29

civil war so these are

32:31

some prominent figures who really played

32:32

a significant role in the unfolding of

32:35

the civil war

32:35

um so i think that is is we have to

32:38

remember that when thinking about

32:40

charlotte

32:42

so i mentioned um the north carolina

32:44

military institute

32:46

that daniel hill established in 1859 um

32:49

north carolina

32:51

followed the lead of other southern uh

32:53

states like virginia and south carolina

32:55

virginia is mostly known for the

32:57

virginia military institute

32:59

and um south carolina charleston the

33:02

citadel where i was

33:03

once employed um these were the more

33:06

prominent military institutes in

33:08

in the south at the time the outbreak of

33:10

the civil war

33:11

and north carolina had had followed suit

33:13

so the school opened its doors

33:15

in 1859 with 40 cadets and

33:18

um some of the first instructors um

33:21

included what were hill as well as james

33:23

um lane

33:24

and charles lee um and so the site

33:27

of the north carolina military institute

33:29

today

33:30

is is where the dowd ymca is it was is

33:34

located presently that's where

33:36

um the north carolina military institute

33:38

was located

33:39

um and and by 1860

33:42

um the a year after the school had been

33:44

founded there were over 100 cadets

33:47

and at the start of the civil war there

33:49

were um upwards of 150.

33:52

so um another way and so a lot of the

33:55

students um

33:56

at the start of the civil war the

33:58

governor closed down the north island

33:59

military institute

34:01

and many of the students and um

34:03

educators

34:04

would join the the confederacy and go

34:06

off into battle and many of them

34:08

um were members of the first north

34:12

carolina volunteer that hill

34:14

led so we provided um soldiers not only

34:17

soldiers um but as well as

34:19

a military leadership that's important

34:20

to remember i think

34:22

um at the start of the war um and that

34:25

not

34:26

many people are aware of this about

34:28

charlotte um and

34:29

and in some ways that it foreshadows um

34:32

charlotte's place as a financial center

34:34

of the south

34:35

um but at the start of the war a branch

34:37

of the united states mint was founded in

34:39

charlotte and

34:40

in um if the branch of the united states

34:43

had been founded in charlotte in 1835

34:45

and this was due to

34:47

the discovery of gold in the region but

34:49

the u.s mint continued to operate

34:52

um in in the 1860s and at the start of

34:55

the war the mint was seized

34:57

by a local battalion form that was known

35:00

as the charlotte graves

35:02

and the north carolina governor who you

35:04

see here at the time john w

35:06

ellis he offered services of the mitt

35:11

to the confederate president jefferson

35:13

davis

35:14

to begin printing money um for the

35:16

confederacy so not many people know

35:18

that the money that the confederacy used

35:20

was printed right here in charlotte

35:22

um at the u.s mint and you see images

35:25

of some of the the bills that were

35:27

printed this

35:29

contains pictures of john calhoun and um

35:32

in jackson and then you have jefferson

35:35

davis on the 50

35:36

bill um

35:39

another important contribution

35:42

occurred in may of 1862 uh when as

35:46

federal forces

35:47

began to move to occupy um the norfolk

35:50

naval

35:51

naval yard which was a part of the

35:52

confederacy um

35:54

the leadership of the confederacy needed

35:56

an inland city

35:58

that was well connected by railroad um

36:00

transportation

36:01

and so charlotte was chosen because it

36:04

was an important rail center at the time

36:06

and it connected to coastal towns and

36:08

and

36:09

it connected the piedmont to the coastal

36:11

towns and most of the machinery

36:14

um and tools and rifles and ammunition

36:16

that were in norfolk

36:18

were relocated to charlotte in may of

36:21

of 1862 and this you see the shield here

36:25

it was um

36:26

installed on the wall of the seaboard

36:29

airline

36:29

railway freight depot in in uptown what

36:33

is now uptown charlotte and it became a

36:36

part of several buildings

36:37

that the confederate state seized and

36:40

then it was located on the southwest

36:42

corner of east trade and college street

36:44

and so if you want to know where that is

36:46

where the current um

36:48

transit station is located that used to

36:50

be the location

36:51

of the naval yard and some of the many

36:54

items that the naval yard was

36:55

responsible for um producing

36:58

were um naval gun carriages um

37:00

projectiles for gun boats

37:02

um and and coastal batteries anchors and

37:04

and rifles

37:06

torpedoes and marine engines and as well

37:08

as propellers

37:10

for um shafts for confederate iron-clad

37:12

ships or the early

37:14

forerunners of um the submarines that

37:16

were being produced in places like

37:18

charleston

37:19

um wilmington and savannah so um the

37:22

this naval yard was an important piece

37:24

of the confederacy during the civil war

37:26

um the president of the confederacy

37:28

jefferson davis visited the site in 1865

37:32

and um continuously throughout the war

37:34

there were and

37:35

on average at least 240 um workers who

37:39

served as guards for the navy

37:40

navy yard um so um i think this is

37:44

is really important to understand that

37:46

um this

37:47

shows us how charlotte contributed to

37:49

this cause

37:50

of the confederacy um another

37:53

i think another important um element or

37:57

an important contribution that we're

37:59

often quoted for

38:01

it's often cited i think this is one of

38:03

the more well-known facts about

38:04

charlotte because you'll see signs in

38:06

uptown charlotte

38:08

that the last meeting of the confederate

38:10

cabinet

38:11

was held here in charlotte at the

38:12

william pfeiffer house

38:14

that william pfeiffer who you see

38:16

pictured here

38:17

was perhaps one of the wealthiest

38:19

planters slave owners who lived

38:21

within the city limits his home was

38:24

located

38:25

at the time at 722 north trion street

38:28

which is now

38:30

122 south tryon and um

38:33

and so he predicted um charlotte that

38:36

would have a great future

38:38

and he um provided his home as the um

38:42

headquarters of general um beauregard

38:44

um and so on in the last days of the

38:47

civil war

38:48

um the cabinet the leaders of the

38:51

cabinet um came to charlotte

38:53

and met um in his home

38:56

so um now i want to talk just a little

39:00

bit about

39:01

um the historical context which um dr

39:04

cox makes now which i think is really

39:05

important i don't want to minimize

39:07

um sort of the psychological effects of

39:10

the civil war

39:11

um the war didn't um you know just

39:14

end and it touched a lot of people um

39:19

what we know now is that the deaths um

39:22

total

39:22

upwards of 620 000 people um 258 of

39:27

those

39:28

were confederate deaths so um by far

39:31

um confederates lost a larger percentage

39:33

of um

39:35

southerners than the north did and so

39:37

there were more women

39:38

were widowed and children were orphaned

39:40

but this the the more importantly

39:42

the civil war touched more lives and

39:44

communities

39:45

more deeply than historians have have

39:47

previously thought

39:48

and so um thinking and understanding

39:52

this how unless understanding the

39:55

importance of this

39:56

is is important to understand how

39:59

the survivors were grappling with this

40:02

new

40:02

um period in which african americans now

40:06

um who had been formally enslaved now

40:08

had equality

40:09

and so i think one of the ways we can

40:11

see um

40:12

how this plays out is in the handling of

40:15

civil rights issues related to african

40:17

americans

40:18

events in charlotte and really in some

40:20

ways would determine the future of

40:22

african american access

40:24

to judicial justice in america and one

40:27

of the more important cases

40:28

that emerges out of charlotte is um the

40:31

lee

40:32

dunlap case and and lee dunlap as you

40:35

see

40:35

these are articles he was an

40:37

african-american

40:38

from the charlotte these are articles

40:40

from local newspapers as well as state

40:42

newspapers and even

40:43

um national newspapers it says the new

40:45

times but it should be the new york

40:47

times that just

40:48

caught that um but lee dunlap was an

40:52

african-american who shot and killed

40:54

james gleason um who was a former

40:57

confederate soldier

40:59

and um at the time

41:02

there were a lot of people don't know

41:04

that charlotte had black police officers

41:06

and in in the case of james gleason

41:10

when he had been shot by lee dunlap a

41:13

black

41:14

police officer tried to prevent him

41:17

from leaving the site because he was

41:20

trying to escape

41:21

and both gleason and dunlap were being

41:25

brought

41:25

in because of a dispute a labor dispute

41:27

that had happened

41:28

um and so um this really becomes

41:32

an important case of whether african

41:34

americans

41:36

should gain access to due process

41:39

lee dunlap was placed into prison

41:42

a local jail and many whites gathered to

41:46

try to lynch him but african-americans

41:48

also gathered to try to protect him

41:50

and over the course of um of of several

41:54

years he sought to get

41:57

his case removed from locally here in

42:00

charlotte because he didn't think that

42:02

he could get a fair trial

42:03

because no african americans were

42:05

allowed to serve on juries

42:07

and um he argued that his lawyers argued

42:09

that he would be treated unfairly

42:11

and so this case went all the way to the

42:14

supreme court

42:16

in 1873 and um unfortunately

42:20

um the case was never decided because

42:22

lee dunlap

42:24

was allowed to escape and and so the the

42:26

issue of whether african americans

42:28

deserved

42:29

judicial justice was left undecided

42:32

and so what you begin to see immediately

42:34

in the aftermath is this

42:36

rise of lynching across the south and it

42:38

becomes this form of

42:40

extra judicial justice and it suggests

42:42

that you know um

42:44

southerners largely did not believe that

42:46

african-americans

42:47

deserved to be able to use the courts as

42:50

a way to um defend themselves and so

42:52

this really becomes

42:53

uh an important case that scholars have

42:56

really not paid attention to um

42:58

and no one has written about it to my

42:59

knowledge but it really is an important

43:02

case that we have to

43:03

pay attention to and i include a lot of

43:06

the dates

43:07

um and locations of these articles

43:09

because i always encourage

43:11

the audiences that i talk to to do your

43:13

own research and read and find out for

43:15

your own

43:16

and so if you have access to a library

43:18

card on the local

43:20

charlotte library you can gain access to

43:22

a lot of these articles

43:26

now i i want to talk just a little bit

43:28

about

43:29

um the rise of white supremacy

43:32

and the role that charlotte played uh

43:35

most often

43:36

when when scholars talk about the rise

43:39

of of

43:40

white supremacy we'd point to the

43:41

wilmington race riots

43:43

and um the it was a significant event

43:47

that really led to um the art the clear

43:50

articulation

43:51

of what white supremacy was and you

43:53

would see

43:54

a number of states and like atlanta

43:59

would follow suit they would actually

44:00

contact leaders of the wilmington race

44:02

riot

44:03

um to find out how they were able to

44:05

disenfranchise african americans

44:07

and so charlotte played a role even

44:09

though wilmington

44:10

um is is on the coast of north carolina

44:13

and and charlotte was

44:14

as dr cox pointed out was a much smaller

44:16

city

44:17

at the turn of the 20th century it was

44:20

involved in the fanning

44:22

of the of the flames of white supremacy

44:24

um

44:25

henry red buck bryant um was a

44:28

a native of charlotte who had graduated

44:32

from unc and returned to mecklenburg

44:34

county

44:34

and began volunteering writing for the

44:36

observer um

44:38

first without pay in 1895 but in by 1898

44:42

he had established a reputation as a

44:44

journalist

44:45

through his coverage of charles b

44:47

aycock's campaign for governor and

44:50

through his reports on eastern north

44:51

carolina counties

44:53

that were um under um black what they

44:56

call black control at the time or negro

44:58

rule

44:58

and eastern north carolina um as a

45:02

you know for reference in in north

45:04

carolina is a place where there were

45:05

larger populations of african-americans

45:07

um they outnumbered whites and so

45:09

um historically they had um experienced

45:13

a lot of success in politics

45:15

um throughout the late um 19th century

45:18

and so

45:18

journalists began writing about this and

45:20

this became a point of contention

45:23

and so you see um this was probably one

45:25

of the first articles that appeared

45:27

in the charlotte observer in 1898

45:30

leading up to the wilmington race

45:32

riots who that has this huge um print

45:35

talking about um with the negro rule and

45:38

um and so this in conjunction with uh

45:42

how the news and observer and raleigh

45:44

used

45:45

the newspapers to fan the flame using

45:47

propaganda they brought in

45:49

political cartoonists like norman

45:51

jennett who was

45:53

the um the the artist behind this

45:56

political cartoon

45:57

of what some scholars have come to call

45:59

the black beast rapist

46:01

and it depicts an african american um

46:04

who is reaching out for white women and

46:08

children

46:09

but he's also in control of the ballot

46:11

box you can see the image

46:12

the ballot box is tied to his heels and

46:15

so this whole idea that um

46:18

african-americans gaining power was a

46:21

threat to on white women and children

46:23

was um often written about in in local

46:27

newspapers

46:28

and um and so over the course of um

46:32

i believe over the course of several

46:34

months um

46:35

the wilmington or the new raleigh news

46:38

and observer

46:40

printed reprinted articles from um

46:43

african-american newspapers

46:45

like the uh the wilmington times a

46:47

wilmington daily

46:48

daily record that was um edited by

46:50

alexander manley

46:52

who's a prominent african-american

46:54

editor and journalist

46:55

who used his newspaper to respond to

46:57

these propaganda campaigns

46:59

um that were headed by the charlotte

47:01

observer and the raleigh news and

47:02

observer

47:03

and he especially um really spoke out

47:06

against

47:07

those who advocated for the lynching of

47:09

black men for allegedly raping white

47:11

women

47:12

and um and so the news and observer

47:14

reprinted his editorials

47:16

um really trying to uh again um row

47:19

people up

47:20

and and it led to the wilmington race

47:22

riots and so

47:23

i think it's important that we

47:25

understand that the charlotte observer

47:27

um and its journalists editorial staff

47:29

played a role in trying to create this

47:31

atmosphere

47:32

across the state um and so what you

47:36

begin to see right in the aftermath of

47:37

the wilmington race riots are

47:39

these um forms of extrajudicial um

47:42

lynchings um so charlotte again it is

47:46

really

47:46

hung on this effort to try to portray

47:49

itself as a place where

47:50

um injustice occurs and so they begin to

47:54

you begin to see state-sponsored um um

47:56

lynchings and

47:58

i think that's what we have to call them

48:00

and call them what they are

48:01

because many of these men who were

48:03

executed were not

48:05

given um proper representation and were

48:07

not given a chance to speak for

48:09

themselves in

48:09

in court um

48:13

and immediately after the wilmington

48:15

race riots you begin to see

48:16

these white supremacy clubs that have

48:19

formed many people

48:20

are shocked to know that these kinds of

48:22

things existed

48:24

but the first white supremacy club in

48:26

the state was formed

48:28

in belmont as which is a neighbor of

48:30

mecklenburg county

48:32

in charlotte it was formed in woodman's

48:34

hall in 1896 leading up to the

48:37

um wilmington race riots but by 1900

48:39

these clubs had reached charlotte

48:41

and you see um sort of the goals of the

48:45

the um these white supremacy clubs

48:48

the aim and object was to maintain white

48:51

supremacy

48:52

and uplift white labor so that meant

48:54

that um

48:56

whites would get the best jobs in the

48:58

city african americans and other people

49:00

of color would be uh relegated to the

49:02

lowest paying jobs menial jobs

49:04

where they would not be able to make the

49:06

same kinds of or earn the same kinds of

49:08

money

49:09

that their white counterparts would have

49:11

and so

49:12

um if you think about today and the

49:14

discussions that we have around

49:16

this economic mobility and economic

49:19

inequality

49:20

you can begin to understand how this

49:22

really began to form

49:24

by looking back to the turn of the 20th

49:27

century when charlotte's

49:28

economy was just taking shape and um the

49:32

the textile and industrial um

49:36

meals were taking off um

49:37

african-americans were most often

49:39

um cut off from those kinds of positions

49:42

and so you'll see some of the more

49:44

prominent names in in the city that were

49:46

um

49:48

connected to these white supremacy clubs

49:50

folks like william kerry dowd

49:52

who was a north carolina house

49:53

representative um

49:55

william w f moody who was a lawyer and

49:58

chief clerk of the state treasury

49:59

department um jd mccall

50:02

um was the mayor of the city and um

50:05

harriet

50:06

clarkson was a prominent lawyer who um

50:09

was shortly after this appointed as um

50:12

by the governor solicitor of the 12th

50:13

district and would go on to serve

50:15

on the um superior court um in the state

50:18

of north carolina

50:19

and so um these mills begin to really

50:22

proliferate around of these white

50:24

supremacy clubs

50:25

and they each they formed auxiliary

50:28

clubs at just about every meal in

50:30

charlotte

50:30

and so these are some examples of um

50:33

these clubs forming in the victor mills

50:36

and the ginga mills and again i provided

50:39

the dates and the sources so you can go

50:41

do the research on your own and look up

50:43

some of these articles and read them for

50:44

yourselves um

50:46

and then finally another article i think

50:49

is really interesting that shows

50:51

um the um the charlotte observer

50:54

um really imploring the local

50:58

um employers of these whites and in

51:01

mills to release

51:02

or give time off to the employees so

51:04

that they could go and vote

51:06

um and so this is important because 1900

51:08

was the year

51:10

um when um the governor aycock

51:13

had placed on the books or the on the

51:15

ballot

51:16

this um decision of whether or not

51:19

african americans

51:20

um should have the right to vote and so

51:22

the charlotte observer is

51:24

imploring um these employees employers

51:28

to allow

51:28

their employees to go vote on this

51:30

particular um

51:31

um interest um so that they can

51:34

disenfranchise african-americans

51:38

um so the loss calls and i'll just speak

51:40

briefly about this how the loss

51:42

cause is is being um um is

51:45

promoted in charlotte um d.a tompkins is

51:48

probably responsible for writing

51:50

although we now know historians know

51:51

that he

51:52

hired a ghost writer for many of his

51:55

early writings

51:56

um this book on the history of

51:57

mecklenburg county and the city of

51:59

charlotte

52:00

really takes on elements of of the lost

52:03

cause by downplaying um

52:06

slavery in charlotte um they portray it

52:08

as a benevolent institution

52:10

um they talk about really um they

52:13

highlight a lot of the early slave

52:15

um plantation owners as as prominent men

52:18

who are responsible for establishing the

52:20

city

52:21

um and they talk about the industrial

52:23

leaders like himself

52:24

um for lifting charlotte up out of

52:26

nothing

52:27

um and really again ignoring the role

52:30

and the contributions that enslaved

52:31

labor

52:32

had played in enriching many of the

52:35

prominent people in charlotte another

52:38

important person

52:40

who i found in my research was alexander

52:43

graham there's a school named after

52:45

alexander graham

52:46

over in myers park alexander graham was

52:50

the the father of the greatest school

52:51

system across north carolina he traveled

52:53

all across the state

52:54

setting up graded schools

52:57

here first in fayetteville and here in

53:00

charlotte but he i found that he

53:02

had been writing speeches for

53:03

politicians who traveled across the

53:05

state

53:06

um and his speeches um you can see

53:09

slavery is not the cause of the war

53:11

between the states and so really

53:12

digging in the hills that um the the war

53:16

was about states rights

53:17

um and um so this again was supporting

53:21

this this idea that um of of the lost

53:24

cause

53:24

and in dr cox's book um the recent book

53:28

no common brown

53:29

um she eloquently talks about

53:32

how the lost cause included um more than

53:35

just

53:37

this idea that slavery was a benevolent

53:38

institution but she also talks about

53:40

how many southerners begin to portray

53:45

themselves as the true defenders and

53:47

founders of the legacy of liberty

53:49

and and that they were cut from the same

53:52

cloth as the founding fathers

53:54

and alexander graham was credited with

53:56

being the foremost scholar

53:58

on the validity of the mech deck or the

54:00

uh what we call historians called the

54:02

mecklenburg resolves

54:03

um which many charlatans have come to

54:06

argue that the city was

54:07

the birthplace of independence and so i

54:09

think that that's really important too

54:11

that um even though the mech deck and um

54:14

promoting it

54:14

as the birthplace of independence

54:16

happened before the civil war

54:18

it became much more important um an um

54:22

element to uplift after the civil war

54:24

and that was something that they began

54:25

to celebrate

54:26

year in year out

54:29

um dr cox talked a little bit about um

54:32

the 1929 or the 39th confederate reunion

54:36

and

54:36

took date it was probably the most

54:38

important gathering in charlotte

54:40

um at the time and what i want to talk

54:42

about just briefly i won't spend a lot

54:44

of time

54:45

but just how the newspapers reported on

54:48

the um the 29th or the 39th confederate

54:50

union

54:51

um the newspapers talked and portrayed

54:54

charlotte as if

54:55

it had truly risen um from the the the

54:58

flames of the civil war

55:00

um and you know the this idea that the

55:02

south would rise again

55:04

and the city talked about city officials

55:06

talked about

55:07

the growth of the economy um it be

55:10

having you know being the center of the

55:11

textile industry

55:13

they talked about it being a great power

55:15

um center with um duke power

55:17

establishing

55:18

hydro um powered that really helped fuel

55:20

the mills

55:21

but it also talked about the growth of

55:23

the banking and insurance industry

55:25

and you see at the bottom of this is the

55:27

armory

55:28

um that was built in preparation for the

55:31

39th

55:31

um um reunion and so today

55:35

the armory it was called was later

55:37

renamed the grady coal center so it is

55:39

still present

55:40

and this is where you see the monument

55:42

that um dr cox talked about

55:44

um and in the aftermath of of the uh

55:48

reunion

55:49

you see this violence that charlotte um

55:51

experiences its second

55:52

documented lynching um just two weeks

55:55

after the um

55:56

the the the monument and so this was the

55:58

lynching of willie mcdaniel

56:00

um again these are provided dates so you

56:02

can go and read about that

56:04

um and then finally some i'll talk just

56:08

a

56:08

a bit about some of the street names

56:11

that we on

56:12

um that were sort of centered on and

56:15

targeted for change by the commission

56:18

um jefferson davidson street is located

56:21

in the druid hill community

56:22

and even though jeff davison jeff davis

56:25

had no extensive ties to charlotte

56:27

it goes to show you how much his legacy

56:31

and the legacy of the confederacy were

56:32

honored here in charlotte

56:34

um stonewall street which is probably

56:36

one of the more prominent streets in

56:37

charlotte

56:38

um his wife um his

56:41

mary ann anna morrison married

56:45

stonewall jackson in in 1857

56:48

and so there have been debates about

56:50

whether the street was actually named

56:52

for her or for stonewall jackson but i

56:55

think what we have

56:56

determined is that it was most

56:58

definitely named for stonewall jackson

57:00

and so that's one of the streets

57:02

um that we are also that the commission

57:04

has

57:05

is considered or is in i'm slated to

57:07

change um and then finally um

57:09

behringer drive behringer is a prominent

57:12

family name

57:13

um in the city there's a behringer hotel

57:16

on north tryon

57:17

but behringer is um was

57:20

really named after um the

57:23

one of his two sons paul behringer who

57:26

was

57:27

he became a leader in the creation of

57:29

scientific racism

57:31

he was a an administrator became the

57:33

president of virginia tech

57:35

university and wrote a lot about um

57:38

the um see sort of the um inherent um

57:42

superiority of whites over african

57:44

americans and and contributed a lot of

57:46

scholarship um what we call pseudo

57:48

scholarship

57:49

um to this idea of blacks being inferior

57:52

and so i'm going to stop here because i

57:54

think we're almost out of time

58:06

probably

58:13

are we out of time did we run out of

58:14

time we we've got

58:17

a few more minutes and then we're going

58:19

to do a little q a

58:21

i'm sorry about that well dr cost dr

58:24

griffin

58:25

uh thank you both so much for sharing dr

58:27

griffin is there any concluding remarks

58:29

you want to make before we go to the

58:30

question answers

58:32

um not really i just think that this

58:34

history is really important um

58:36

and again i've said this before i think

58:38

city leaders as well as citizens of

58:41

charlotte have to be aware

58:42

of this history because we have this

58:44

tendency in charlotte to portray

58:46

ourselves as a progressive city and that

58:49

you know that we were untouched by these

58:51

um these episodes in our history

58:53

um but i think that you know in a

58:55

foreign public is an intelligent public

58:58

and and if we understand this history

59:01

then um

59:01

we could um you know best have more

59:04

informed conversations about it

59:09

great yeah thank you both so much for

59:11

sharing um

59:13

just so much to know so much to learn we

59:15

appreciate it

59:16

we have one question that the question

59:18

just reads dad ymca

59:19

so i think the question is in reference

59:22

to

59:23

um as far as you all know is there any

59:25

significance

59:26

behind the endowed name on the dow ymca

59:34

what i do know is that the the dowd um

59:37

who was a member of the early white

59:40

suprema it's the same family i'm not

59:42

sure

59:42

who was responsible for providing the

59:45

sort of the financial

59:46

um backing for the dow creation of the

59:48

dow ymca

59:50

but it comes from the same prominent

59:53

family in the city

59:56

thank you we do have another question um

60:00

this one is from destiny destiny asks as

60:02

we learn the history about the legacy of

60:04

the city

60:05

what do we do or can we do with this

60:07

knowledge

60:12

well um i would say that um

60:15

you know this is just the beginning you

60:17

know of an education about

60:19

um our city and about um the region

60:23

i think what we can do uh again

60:26

i echo what um dr griffin said it's just

60:29

like

60:30

you know being informed is really

60:32

important um

60:34

to be able to communicate about that i

60:37

think that

60:38

we need to continue our you know

60:41

educating people about um the history of

60:44

charlotte and this these darker

60:46

sides of the history of charlotte what

60:48

can we do i think the legacy commission

60:50

is

60:51

is uh honestly is a is a model

60:54

um for for i think other cities in

60:58

in this region in terms of it's like now

61:00

that we know

61:01

this is what we're going to do and it

61:03

begins with street names

61:05

um the other thing that um that we can

61:08

do as a city and i think that one of the

61:10

recommendations was

61:11

in terms of of uh thinking about how we

61:15

might

61:16

uh rethink the memorial landscape of

61:20

charlotte

61:21

is to apply for some you know grant

61:23

funding

61:25

that would allow us to do that um

61:28

i do think that you know you know being

61:31

educated about it is really really

61:33

important knowledge is power

61:35

and and um i think that that's important

61:39

you know you

61:40

you know that we we have an honest

61:42

reckoning with with our history

61:44

there's nothing to be afraid of in doing

61:47

that there's no reason to run from it

61:49

um doesn't make you as an individual a

61:52

bad person

61:54

um because you know there is this

61:56

history out there or even if you have an

61:58

ancestor out there who was a bad actor

62:02

um i think it's just it's really

62:03

important and i think that what we can

62:06

do is try to educate i really believe

62:09

and i think that was one of the

62:10

recommendations

62:11

um was about that we have education

62:14

uh within the public school systems of

62:17

met

62:18

in the public school system of

62:19

mecklenburg county um and so that we

62:22

we reach uh not just talking to each

62:25

other as adults

62:26

but also educating children around this

62:29

because i think that kind of truth and

62:31

reconciliation

62:32

will be very very important to race

62:35

relations in our city going forward

62:40

yeah i mean i would reiterate everything

62:41

that dr cox said that you know we often

62:44

think about this history as as

62:46

hard and difficult but i don't really

62:48

like to use those terms when i talk

62:50

about this history

62:51

i think history is is complex more than

62:53

it is hard

62:55

because i think when we use this these

62:57

terms that this is hard history and

62:58

difficult history we tend to turn away

63:00

from it

63:01

um so if we think about it as

63:04

as a form of math you know it's complex

63:07

and we have to study it and the more

63:08

that we understand it uh the better

63:11

are we we are equipped to have

63:13

conversations about it

63:14

because it's not going to go away um and

63:17

you know

63:17

the the more that people realize um

63:20

how we got to this point um um the

63:23

history

63:24

is is going to always be brought up so

63:26

we just have to to discuss it and

63:28

you know we often think about how our

63:31

children are going to be taught in the

63:32

schools and i have to remind people that

63:34

the children are resilient

63:36

um you know they are um prepared to to

63:39

study this and and understand it

63:41

um even more so than adults are and so

63:44

it's best that we get it out now

63:47

um and instead of keep um hiding it from

63:49

them and and by the time they get to

63:51

college they're introduced to it and

63:53

realize

63:54

um that they have been something has

63:55

been kept from them or lied to

63:58

so i just think that that's really

63:59

important that we be honest about it

64:02

thank you both um our next

64:06

question this was an excellent

64:08

presentation thank you we're so glad

64:09

that y'all are here and that you are

64:11

benefiting from this information the

64:13

question what are the next steps in this

64:15

process

64:16

and where are the presenters located

64:21

well i'm i'm located here in charlotte

64:26

i'm a professor of history at unc

64:29

charlotte and um uh i think that

64:32

you know somebody from the mayor's

64:35

office would would need to tell you what

64:37

the next steps are

64:41

yeah same here i mean i'm also located

64:44

here in charlotte a charlotte native and

64:46

currently working at the levine museum

64:49

of the new south

64:52

i would just say that um we are working

64:55

on all aspects of the recommendations

64:57

and we

64:57

have had a preliminary meeting with cms

65:00

and are exploring ways that we can

65:01

incorporate some of this knowledge into

65:03

curriculum

65:04

and we are also engaging in

65:06

conversations about

65:08

reimagining our landscape and what kind

65:10

of art projects what kind of memories

65:12

what kind of

65:13

historical markers what kind of

65:16

technology can we use so that people can

65:19

go to different places in charlotte and

65:21

learn history

65:23

so we are um trying to um

65:27

put all of this together and if you want

65:30

you can definitely go to charlottenc.gov

65:33

legacy and also you can email us

65:36

at legacy charlottenc.gov for more

65:39

information

65:40

and um stay tuned we are um

65:43

really excited about moving forward and

65:46

uh

65:46

and implementing these recommendations

65:50

thank you emily our next question what

65:52

is the process of working with eji

65:55

to move the markers acknowledging our

65:57

two lynchings

66:01

um so i think you know over

66:04

over two years ago um charlotte formed a

66:07

charlotte remembrance

66:09

um charlotte community remembrance

66:11

project

66:12

and so there's a long process that eji

66:15

requires of every community to make sure

66:18

that we are

66:19

engaging um the community making sure

66:22

that we are trying to educate the

66:23

community

66:24

so we have to first it has to be a broad

66:27

coalition of members from around the

66:30

city

66:31

representing various organizations

66:32

various communities coming together

66:35

and talking about um the ways to talk

66:39

about

66:39

i'm lynching and um this so that

66:43

we have to do some form of school

66:46

initiative where there's an essay

66:47

contest to get high school students

66:49

involved

66:51

there has to be documented outreach

66:53

efforts and so

66:55

there are efforts currently underway

66:59

of um through the charlotte and i think

67:01

in the next few months you'll probably

67:02

see i think in

67:03

in august you will see a website um be

67:06

introduced

67:07

for the public so that you can

67:08

understand some of the

67:10

the stories about the lynchings like

67:12

willie mcneill

67:14

as well as um um i forget the name of

67:17

the

67:17

joseph uh the first joe mcneely was the

67:20

first um lynching victim in 1913

67:23

and so once the website is introduced in

67:26

august you'll learn more about those and

67:28

you'll learn

67:28

also about the process that the

67:30

charlotte community remembers project is

67:32

taking

67:33

to um to um you know beat the

67:36

requirements of each ai

67:40

thank you our next question if anyone

67:43

else has a question if you want to go

67:44

ahead and type in the chat um this is

67:46

the last question that we have

67:47

currently and that is um do you think

67:50

that the current mischaracterization

67:53

i'm sorry do you think that the current

67:54

mischaracterized debates

67:56

about critical race theory will prevent

67:59

these types of learning opportunities

68:00

from being presented in cms

68:08

that's a million dollar question isn't

68:10

it um i

68:12

you know um um i i can't know what

68:15

what what that landscape looks like but

68:18

you know

68:18

but let me let me just say this is like

68:21

um

68:23

um you know the lost cause is an example

68:27

of how you know uh sort of a

68:31

misrepresentation misrepresenting

68:33

history can do damage to a community

68:37

and not being honest about it um

68:40

um you know i'm a white southerner um

68:43

and uh i'm not afraid of the history

68:45

that maybe

68:46

portrays uh other white southerners at a

68:49

different point in history

68:50

as as um maybe have been

68:54

you know done nefarious things or been

68:56

nefarious characters but um

68:59

i don't think you know we have to run

69:01

away from our history i think it's

69:02

important that we

69:03

um be honest about it um there's nothing

69:06

to be

69:07

afraid of um by learning uh

69:10

learning the full story and the full

69:12

scope of of the

69:13

of our history um and uh

69:16

and not whitewashing it um you know to

69:19

make ourselves

69:20

feel better um because um

69:23

you know there's there's real value that

69:25

can come from honest conversations

69:28

about um about the past

69:32

yeah i mean i i agree i think that there

69:35

is some mischaracterization

69:36

going on with this whole um idea of

69:39

critical race theory i've i've

69:41

said uh more than once that those people

69:43

who are promoting this idea

69:45

of being anti-critical race theory are

69:47

really picking up the legacy

69:49

of the the lost cause and and really um

69:52

you know

69:52

transforming it into a 21st century um

69:56

you know you know uh is just

70:00

important um i'm losing the word that i

70:04

need right now but it's it's

70:05

they are really it's becoming something

70:07

that they are championing championing

70:09

championing like um those folks from

70:12

the daughters of the confederacy and the

70:13

lost cause but what's really um

70:16

important is i don't think that critical

70:18

race theory is being taught

70:19

in in public schools i think that what's

70:22

actually happening are our narratives

70:25

are being explored who have largely been

70:28

absent from the sort of mainstream

70:30

narratives and when you place these

70:32

narratives

70:33

in in conversation with mainstream

70:35

narratives you're going to see

70:36

complications in um in our understanding

70:40

of the past

70:41

and so it's important um that these

70:43

narratives are talked about whether

70:45

we're talking about

70:46

women's history whether we're talking

70:47

about african american history whether

70:49

we're talking about

70:50

lgbtq um history all of these um

70:53

narratives have to be placed um in in

70:56

in our schools um so that um

71:00

we understand how we got to this point

71:04

thank you dr griffin we don't have any

71:06

other questions so

71:07

i would like to thank everyone for

71:09

joining us tonight thank you to all the

71:11

attendees we appreciate your time we

71:13

appreciate you

71:15

taking time to learn more about this

71:16

subject and we hope that you will

71:19

continue to have discussions with your

71:20

friends and your family um

71:22

to keep this discussion alive if you can

71:25

share this

71:26

particular video just so more people can

71:28

learn about

71:29

the legacy commission and the work and

71:31

the recommendations that they have put

71:32

forth

71:33

we would like to thank dr griffin and dr

71:36

cox for

71:37

giving us that historical perspective to

71:39

help us to understand how we've gotten

71:41

to where we are

71:42

and we would also like to thank miss

71:44

emily kunzie

71:46

and um just for her information about

71:48

the legacy commission and the work

71:50

that they have put forth um there's a

71:52

couple of links in the chat if you want

71:54

to

71:55

get more information about the legacy

71:56

commission but definitely reach out if

71:58

you have questions we encourage a

72:00

discussion we encourage the dialogue

72:02

and there will definitely be more to

72:04

come so thank you all for joining us

72:05

this evening

72:06

and have a great night

Legacy Commission Meeting videos

Survey and Voting Process

Participate in renaming Aycock Lane, Jackson Avenue and Zebulon Avenue (for residents, businesses and property owners in these communities).

The Replacement Name Suggestion Survey will be open from August 17 through September 19.

Aycock Lane, Jackson Avenue and Zebulon Avenue – Voting on Replacement Names has changed to Monday, October 4th through Monday, October 25th. Letters will be sent out the week of September 27th to all residents, businesses and property owners on these streets with more information.

Residents and businesses are required to enter their address to prove they reside or own property on the specific street.

A timeline for each street renaming project is displayed below.

Web Accessibility for Legacy street Name Change Roadmap with text description below

Timeline for Street Name Changes

  • District 1 Jefferson Davis St.
    Community Engagement: Jun - Aug
    Installation: September 2021

  • District 1 Phifer Ave.
    Community Engagement: Jun - Aug
    Installation: September 2021

  • District 1 Jackson Ave.
    Community Engagement: Aug - Oct
    Installation: November 2021

  •  
  • District 2 Zebulon Ave.
    Community Engagement: Aug - Oct
    Installation: November 2021

  • District 1 Aycock Ln.
    Community Engagement: Aug - Oct
    Installation: November 2021

  • District 2 W. Hill St.
    Community Engagement: Oct - Dec
    Installation: January - February 2022

  •  
  • District 6 Morrison Ave.
    Community Engagement: Oct - Dec
    Installation: January - February 2022

  • District 3 Barringer Dr.
    Community Engagement: Dec - Feb
    Installation: March - April 2022

  • District 1 and 2 Stonewall St.
    Community Engagement: Dec - Feb
    Installation: May - June 2022

  •  
 

Streets that will be renamed and why

The Legacy Commission identified that the highest priority for change should be streets named for leaders of the Confederacy and white supremacists who actively fought to defend slavery and against racial equality. Upon the Commission’s recommendations, City Council authorized the City to move expeditiously to change the names of the streets listed below:

Beyond Charles Brantley Aycock (Wayne County) and William Brantley Aycock (Wilson County), there are no other famous or influential persons from North Carolina who carry the Aycock name. William was a longtime law professor at UNC School of Law and served as chancellor of UNC from 1957 until 1964. Aycock Lane is most likely named in honor of Charles Aycock, who, beginning in 1900, served as the state’s 50th governor. According to historian H. Leon Prather, Aycock was the “king of oratory” and the “Democratic Moses who led North Carolina out of the darkness and chaos of Negro domination.” Aycock is remembered as the primary architect of the state’s White Supremacy Movement, which fully emerged in 1898 and was responsible for disfranchising African Americans in 1901. He is fondly referred to as North Carolina’s “education governor.” The street is located in a subdivision just south of Dilworth, off of Scaleybark Road.

Barringer is a prominent family name in the Mecklenburg and Cabarrus County region. John Paul Barringer and his eldest son, John Sr., were members of the Mecklenburg Militia during the Revolutionary War. When John Paul died in 1807, he was 86 years old and owned 13 slaves and hundreds of acres of land in Cabarrus County. By 1838, John Sr. owned three plantations, two stores, a tannery, and a cotton mill around Concord. Although he owned as many as 15 slaves, he eventually reached the point where he was no longer in favor of the institution. But instead of granting them freedom, he deeded them to his son, Paul Brandon, who took them further south to Mississippi. His three other sons, Rufus, Moreau, and Victor, were all lawyers and served the state as elected politicians. In the 1850s, Rufus was a prominent Whig, a forerunner of the Republican Party, who favored African American suffrage. Initially, he was against secession, but after the state seceded, he was among the first to volunteer. Rufus rose to the brigadier general’s rank, but he served as a Republican after the war. Rufus was the father of Warren C. Coleman, who was perhaps the wealthiest African American in North Carolina from Reconstruction through the turn of the twentieth century. Barringer advocated for African American rights following the Civil War, yet his sons, Paul B. Barringer and Osmond M. Barringer, espoused white supremacy ideals. Paul became a leader in the field of “scientific” racism at the University of Virginia in the late 1800s, and Osmond was a leader in the local white supremacy club movement in Charlotte at the turn of the twentieth century. Osmond also fought against the desegregation of public facilities in Charlotte in the 1950s. Accord ing to Osmond, Barringer Drive was named in his honor. The street is located in West Charlotte. It extends south from West Boulevard, snaking across Remount Road and Clanton Road before coming to an end at Pressley Road.

Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was born in Clarksburg, Virginia, in 1824 and died in Guinea, Virginia, in 1863. As an 1846 graduate of West Point, he sided with the Confederacy at the start of the Civil War and quickly rose in prominence. Military historians regard him as the most gifted tactical commander in the Confederacy, and his military exploits became legendary and were an essential element of the ideology of the Lost Cause. There are several streets named in honor of Stonewall Jackson. The most prominent is East Stonewall Street, located in uptown Charlotte. The street extends from South Mint and South Graham, at Bank of America Stadium, east to Kenilworth Avenue. For many years, local defenders of Jackson’s legacy claimed the street was named to honor his second wife, Mary Anna Morrison, whom he married in 1857. She was from North Carolina, where her father was President of Davidson College. Following their marriage, the couple lived in Lexington, Virginia, where Jackson was a Virginia Military Institute professor. Following Jackson’s death, she moved to Charlotte into a home was located on East Third Street, which is now East Stonewall Street. There is a Stonewall Jackson Homes Drive located in a private low-income rental community at 5751 Airport Drive off West Boulevard. According to a 1947 Charlotte News article, Jackson Avenue, located off East 10th Street, directly across from Piedmont Open IB Middle School, is also named in honor of Stonewall Jackson.

During the Civil War, Jefferson Davis served as President of the Confederate States from 1861 to 1865. At the war’s end, he encouraged reconciliation and implored Southerners to be loyal to the Union. However, by the 1880s, former Confederates saw him as a hero of the Lost Cause of the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis was born in Fairview, Kentucky, and died in New Orleans, Louisiana. He had no extensive ties to Charlotte, beyond retreating to the city during the last days of the Civil War and holding his final executive cabinet meeting at William Phifer’s home. There is a Jefferson Davis Street located in the Druid Hill community in West Charlotte. The street is dead-ended at both ends and has only one cross street, Moretz Avenue.


Cameron A. Morrison was a prominent leader of the ‘Red Shirts,’ the paramilitary wing of the state Democratic Party’s White Supremacy campaign that worked to suppress and terrorize black voters in North Carolina in the late 1890s. In 1920, Morrison successfully ran for Governor of North Carolina on the platform that he fought gloriously for the cause of White Supremacy. Morrison served as the state’s 55th governor and is commonly referred to as the “Good Roads Governor.” Under his leadership, the government systematically made use of black convict labor to help build state roads. In the mid-1920s, Morrison purchased upwards of 3000 acres in what is now South Charlotte to build his Morrocroft Estate. Over the years, most of the land surrounding his home was sold to local developers. Today, the area comprises Barclay Downs and South Park. Morrison Boulevard and Governor Morrison Street are named in his honor. There are several other prominent buildings and apartments named in Morrison’s memory, including Southpark Morrison, Morrison Condos, Morrison Family YMCA, and Morrison Library. The name of the Morrison Library was recently changed o the South Park Library because of the association of Morrision with white supremacy.

William Phifer was from Catawba and came to Charlotte in 1852. He inherited a great deal of land, money, and enslaved Africans. Phifer owned approximately 28 enslaved people, making him one of the two largest slave owners in the city. The Phifer home occupied an entire block, from Phifer Avenue to College Street to Eleventh Street, and included a well-designed garden, a sixty-foot well, a springhouse, a carriage house, a garden house, and smokehouse. It was part of his larger four- thousand-acre estate. In early 1865, Phifer’s property served as the headquarters for General Pierre G.T. Beauregard, and two weeks after the Confederacy officially surrendered at Appomattox on April 9, 1865, the Confederate Cabinet met for the last time in Phifer’s home. Today, Phifer Avenue connects North Tryon to North College between East 9th and East 11th Streets. The street runs perpendicular to the Hal Marshall Center.

Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson was born in Clarksburg, Virginia, in 1824 and died in Guinea, Virginia, in 1863. As an 1846 graduate of West Point, he sided with the Confederacy at the start of the Civil War and quickly rose in prominence. Military historians regard him as the most gifted tactical commander in the Confederacy, and his military exploits became legendary and were an essential element of the ideology of the Lost Cause. There are several streets named in honor of Stonewall Jackson. The most prominent is East Stonewall Street, located in uptown Charlotte. The street extends from South Mint and South Graham, at Bank of America Stadium, east to Kenilworth Avenue. For many years, local defenders of Jackson’s legacy claimed the street was named to honor his second wife, Mary Anna Morrison, whom he married in 1857. She was from North Carolina, where her father was President of Davidson College. Following their marriage, the couple lived in Lexington, Virginia, where Jackson was a Virginia Military Institute professor. Following Jackson’s death, she moved to Charlotte into a home was located on East Third Street, which is now East Stonewall Street. There is a Stonewall Jackson Homes Drive located in a private low-income rental community at 5751 Airport Drive off West Boulevard. According to a 1947 Charlotte News article, Jackson Avenue, located off East 10th Street, directly across from Piedmont Open IB Middle School, is also named in honor of Stonewall Jackson.

Daniel H. Hill was a Confederate officer who spent time before and after the Civil War in Charlotte. He was born in York County, South Carolina, on July 12, 1821, and died in Charlotte on September 24, 1889. Hill served on the faculties of Washington College (later Washington and Lee University) from 1849 to 1854 and Davidson College from 1854 through 1859, when he became principal of the North Carolina Military Academy in Charlotte. At the outbreak of the Civil War, he was commissioned as a colonel and led The Charlotte Greys, a local regiment, in usurping the city’s branch of the U.S. Mint. He quickly rose to brigadier general to major general and commander of the Army of Northern Virginia. Hill is remembered for his college textbook, Elements of Algebra, and for leading critical strategic victories during the war, and finally for editing a Charlotte-based magazine, The Land We Love, which was influential throughout the South from 1866 through 1869. Hill eventually became a prominent educator in the South, serving as presidents of Arkansas Industrial University, Middle Georgia Military and Agricultural College. Hill was also instrumental in writing several Civil War histories. West Hill Street is named in his honor. The street is located in uptown Charlotte and extends east from McNinch Street to Eldridge Street, just outside Bank of America Stadium. The street again picks up on the east side of the stadium, stretching from South Church Street across South Tryon and becomes East Hill for one city block ending at South College Street.

Zebulon Baird Vance entered politics in North Carolina in the 1850s. In 1854 he was elected to Congress and again in 1859. In 1861, after the South succeeded from the Union, Vance refused to serve on the Confederate Congress, instead choosing to fight. He eventually rose to the rank of colonel of the Twenty-sixth North Carolina Regiment. In 1862, he accepted the Conservative party nomination for Governor and handily defeated Democratic candidate, William Johnston of Mecklenburg County. Vance was North Carolina’s Confederate Governor from 1862 through 1865. His re-election as Governor in 1877 symbolized the return to power of slavery-era leaders. Zebulon Avenue is located in the Smallwood community off of Rozzelles Ferry Road.

Charlotte community to choose new street names

Creating a new landscape representative of all Charlotteans requires public engagement and input. The community is crucial to this renaming effort and the City and City Council believe that the community should decide on new names. The surrounding community will be invited to submit names for consideration. Final name selections will be determined via vote by persons and businesses who reside or own property on the specific street to be renamed. Proof of address will be required.

Name recommendation criteria

  • Names should be welcoming, not frivolous, effectively brand the corridor, increase public understanding of cultural history, and fit to place.

  • Suggestions must fall into one of the following categories:

    • Activities:

      • Including sports, hobbies or pastimes.

    • Community/Places of Cultural Significance:

      • Current or historical places or objects that may embody Charlotte or are connected to the area.

    • Ecology/Environment/Local Waterways​:

      • Ideas representing CLT’s ecology including nearby lakes, greenways, creeks, native plants flora, fauna, landscape, etc Fruits, foods, vegetables or nuts

    • Individuals who have had an important and positive impact on the city, state or nation:

      • Recognize individuals who have had a significant connection to Charlotte and contributed to the city’s progress, or represent the diversity of the city’s history or individuals whose contributions have been overlooked in the past (African Americans, Native Americans, Latinx, Asians, women)

      • To ensure the benefit of historical judgment, no street should be named for a living person, and not until the individual has been deceased for a period of no less than five (5) years.

  • Persons of significance initially identified for consideration by the Legacy Commission include:


  • Annie Alexander

  • Charlie Sifford

  • Count Vincent de Rivafinoli

  • Dr. Reginald Hawkins

  • Elizabeth “Libby” Randolph

  • Elizabeth “Liz” Hair

  • Ella Baker

  • Harriet Tubman

  • Harry Golden

  • Ishmael Titus

  • Julius Chambers

  • Kelly Alexander Senior

  • King Hagler

  • Maya Angelou

  • Rosa Parks

  • Wendell Scott

Other names and categories may be considered.

Street Name Requirements and Prohibitions:

  • Name plus two-letter type (Rd, St, Ln, etc) cannot exceed 21 letters.

  • Name should include a roadway type (i.e. street, drive, way, court, lane, etc).

  • No directional prefixes or suffixes unless convention is already established for the area and fundamentally necessary to delineate location (N, S, E or W).

  • No duplication. For example, Parsons Dr., when there is already a Parsons Rd., is not permissible, but Parsons Hill Rd would be acceptable.

  • Street names involving a full name of an individual are discouraged where the individual's last name only is an available name, Amendments to this policy may be considered.

  • A full continuous street name along the length of a street is encouraged. This discourages the Morehead-Queens- Providence situation.

  • Possibly offensive names are not permitted.

  • No business names.

  • No punctuation.


STREET NAME
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT
INSTALLATION

Jefferson Davis Street

June 2021 - July 2021

August 2021 – September 2021

Phifer Avenue

June 2021 - July 2021

August 2021 – September 2021

Morrison Boulevard

August 2021 - September 2021

October 2021 – January 2022

Zebulon Avenue

December 2021-January 2022

February 2022 – March 2022

Aycock Lane

December 2021-January 2022

February 2022 – March 2022

Barringer Drive

February 2022 - March 2022

April 2022 – July 2022

Stonewall Street

June 2022 - July 2022

August 2022 – February 2023

Jackson Avenue

January 2023 - February 2023

March 2023 – April 2023

West Hill Street

June 2023 - July 2023

May 2023 – August 2023