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How Sorting And Segregation Formed Charlotte

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Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
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Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
A view of Charlotte from a postcard, circa 1910.

How did Charlotte start to grow in the beginning?

Author and local historian Tom Hanchett explores the growth of the Queen City as part of what he describes as “the New South” in "Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class, and Urban Development in Charlotte, 1875-1975."

It's all tied up in segregation — and not just by race — but by class and wealth. According to Hanchett, much of this happened not in the 19th century, but the early 20th century.

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Photo courtesy of Tom Hanchett

A major part of Charlotte’s development stems from segregation, which continues to have an impact on the city's housing, education and overall infrastructure.

In this episode, we talk to Hanchett and others familiar with the impact of Charlotte’s history.

Guests:
Tom Hanchett, community historian and author of "Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class, and Urban Development in Charlotte, 1875-1975"
Justin Perry, chair of OneMECK, a coalition advocating for equitable schools, and columnist who has spoken about impact of segregation in Charlotte, especially in education
Mary Newsom, journalist and writer, formerly of the University of North Carolina Charlotte Urban Institute

Alexandra Watts is an interim assistant producer on Charlotte Talks. Previously, she worked with WFAE as a Report for America corps member, reporting on local government and community issues through a partnership between WFAE and the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library.