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From the Southern Oral History Program, this is Press Record: a podcast about the joys and challenges of learning history by talking to those who lived it.

Special Edition

From the Archive: Understanding Desegregation and Economic Justice in Charlotte, NC

A couple weeks ago we released an episode about oral history for movement building. As we finished work on the episode in late September, organizing and protests began and endured in Charlotte, North Carolina in response to the police shooting of Keith Lamont Scott. We released our last episode not having addressed the movement building in Charlotte, but then met as a team to figure out how we could speak to the current organizing in Charlotte by bringing to the forefront the city’s long history of activism.

The Southern Oral History Program’s database contains over 5,000 interviews divided into different projects, several of which focus on Charlotte. Over the past week, the team of field scholars here at the SOHP came together to look through those projects, specifically those on School Desegregation and Economic Justice. We compiled a list interviews, of which you’ll hear some excerpts. Find more information below about the interviewees featured and how to search the database for more oral histories. You will also find discussion questions if you opt to use this podcast in a classroom, book group, faith group, or even to start a conversation with family members. We hope this podcast offers some additional historical context and can serve as a tool to talk about the history of economic and political disfranchisement that informs today’s activism in Charlotte.

Find more information on Press Record’s new Facebook page. The SOHP’s twitter page is here. Feel free to tweet your feedback or share your thoughts on oral history and Charlotte or email your comments, questions, or ideas to us at!

You can listen to the episode below through SoundCloud and please subscribe and rate us on iTunes here!


Discussion Questions:

  • How does it make you feel to hear these interviews?
  • What, if anything, surprised you?
  • What questions would you want to ask now?
  • How does hearing these interviews affect how you think about the uprising in Charlotte today?

To find the complete interviews and transcripts for the excerpts featured in the podcast, see the links below (listed in order that they appear in the podcast):

Hattie Scott (2008)

Madge Hopkins (2000)

James Ferguson (2008)

Margie Ann Worthy (2006)

Johnny Cunningham (2008)

Eunice Pharr (2001)

Nancy Berry (2006)

Adrienne White (2006)

Diane English (2006)

Patsy Rice Camp (1999)

Additional Resources:


Episode 1: Silence Speaks Volumes

Episode 2: Back Ways

Episode 3: Feminism and Oral History

Episode 4: LGBTQ Southern Oral History and Activism

Episode 5: Pet Sounds

Episode 6: Sweet Emotion

Episode 7: Oral History for Movement Building

Episode 8: Voices From Charlotte

Episode 9: Veterans and Oral History

Episode 10: Women and Politics in the South

Episode 11: Oral History and the ERA

Episode 12: Revisiting “Back Ways”

Episode 13: New Roots/ Nuevas Raíces