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Charlotte Talks: Uncovering A Dark History, Legacy Of Lynching In Mecklenburg County

Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr.

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

We learn about lynching as a form of racial terror. It happened around the south and here in Mecklenburg County and is the subject of a new exhibit at the Levine Museum of the New South.

North Carolina, like elsewhere in the South, has a place in the nation’s dark Post-Civil War history of lynching. There are 4,400 known cases nationwide of these mob killings that mostly targeted African-American men.

There are two documented cases of lynchings in Mecklenburg County – one of which took place where Bank of America stadium now stands. Community historian Michael Moore, who has dug into Charlotte’s history says lynching was used "as a form of racial terror to establish and maintain a racial hierarchy and the subordination of black people."

He and other historians are working to uncover this largely forgotten past. Some of those lost stories are told through a new exhibit at Levine Museum of the New South. They are also hoping to engage the public in a conversation around memorializing this dark history.

We’ll talk with historians about the exhibit and about the legacy of lynching today.

Dr. Willie Griffin and Michael Moore in Charlotte Talks' Spirit Square studio.


Dr. Willie Griffin, Staff Historian, Levine Museum of the New South

Michael Moore, Community Historian

Event: It Happened Here: The Charlotte Remembrance Project Wednesday May 8, 6-8pm at Levine Museum of the New South. Details.

Exhibit: The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America runs now through July 17th at Levine Museum of the New South. Details.

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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.