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Charlotte Talks: Get To Know Local Neighborhoods On Charlotte City Walks; The Legend Of Tom Dooley

UNC Charlotte Urban Institute/Mary Newsom

Monday, April 30, 2018

Spring is here. Time to get out and walk the neighborhood and we’ll hear how you can do that and learn about those neighborhoods during a Charlotte City Walk. These walks give you a snapshot of a growing city today and of its history and examine the city’s biggest issues. We’ll find out more in the first part of the program and then, the Tom Dooley Project. It celebrates a legend used for years to teach children how to make good choices.

Part One: Get To Know Your City And Area Neighborhoods On Charlotte City Walks

How well do you know your city? How often do you venture outside of your own neighborhood or get to know new people? Charlotte City Walks are encouraging Charlotteans to get out of their cars and venture into areas of the city they're less familiar with.

Credit UNC Charlotte Urban Institute/Mary Newsom
Charlotte City Walk through NoDa.

The walks, organized by UNC Charlotte's Urban Institute and led by local historians and longtime neighborhood residents, started in 2012 in an effort to connect people across neighborhoods. They provide a snapshot of a growing city at a moment when older neighborhoods are racing to preserve their history and identity amid rapid economic development and an influx of newcomers.

In exploring Charlotte's neighborhoods, City Walks will examine some of the city's biggest issues like transportation, urban development, and preserving history. The series of walks and tours runs through the month of May in neighborhoods across the city, including Historic West End, NoDa, University City, uptown, Plaza Midwood, Dilworth, South End and more. We take a closer look at what can be gained from a neighborhood stroll.


Tom Hanchett, community historian, he writes the monthly "Food from Home" column for The Charlotte Observer. Former staff historian at the Levine Museum of the New South.

Emiene Wright, Assistant Director of Communications at Johnson C. Smith University

Angelique Gaines, Social Research Specialist, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

City Walks and 'Munching Tours' run through the month of May. City Walks schedule and information.

Part Two: Exploring The Legend Behind Tom Dooley

Soldier Tom Dula aka "Tom Dooley"

The Tom Dooley Project is a celebration of a 150-year-old legend that was made famous worldwide in both song and literature.  It has been used for years by educators in the mountains of North Carolina to help teach children to make good choices…choices regarding ‘who to call a friend’ and ‘how to make the best of the short time we all have here on Earth.’ 

As for Thomas C. Dula, A.K.A. Tom Dooley, he made some very bad choices...choosing to ignore his mother’s advice; choosing to party and drink liquor to excess and choosing to run with people of bad character.  Tom’s choices resulted in his being hanged for allegedly murdering the girl he was supposed to be marrying.

Mike sits down with those who know the story of Tom Dooley best to discuss the importance of Tom’s story, and the fascinating history behind it. 


Cathy Cash, director of The Tom Dooley Project

Charlotte Barnes, author, The Tom Dooley Files: My Search for the Truth Behind the Legend

Bill Barnes, video producer

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Erin Keever is Senior Producer of WFAE's Charlotte Talks with Mike Collins. She has been with the show since joining the station in 2006. She's a native Charlottean.