The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee (CRC) was formed in 1961 when then-Mayor Stanford R. Brookshire appointed a group of citizens to address race relations in Charlotte. The committee first intervened in a major public controversy when a group of African American citizens protested discrimination in public facilities.
The CRC has been an integral part of the human relations support system for the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County for more than 50 years. The human relations issues that Charlotte faces today are broader and require more depth of understanding to resolve. For example, we encouraged and facilitated community dialogue surrounding the removal of the confederate flag at historic Elmwood Cemetery.
CRC publications that once narrowly focused on black and white racial tensions and are now available in a number of languages and address a myriad an intergroup ethnic, cultural, religious and racial issue.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations is the human relations agency for the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. The department seeks to enhance community harmony and promote awareness of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s growing multiculturalism by facilitating community dialogue and meetings and coordinating resident and organizational coalitions to address community issues and concerns. Community Relations accomplishes this mission by:
Addressing discrimination through enforcement of the city’s Fair Housing Ordinance.
Collaborating with CMPD to improve police community relations.
Serving on host committees for cultural events (MLK Celebration) Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Citywide Birthday Celebration.
Serving as mediators during conflict resolution.
Ensuring Americans with Disability Act Title I and II compliance citywide.
00:00 Charlotte-Mecklenburg community 00:02 relations its place in charlotte history 00:04 then and now I'm Tom Hanson I'm 00:07 community historian and you can find 00:10 more of my work at WWDC South org I 00:14 retired recently from Levine Museum of 00:16 the new south where I was the staff 00:19 historian for many years I've also 00:20 worked with Historic Landmarks 00:22 Commission in Charlotte 00:24 Mecklenburg Community Relations is the 00:26 human relations agency for the City of 00:28 Charlotte and Mecklenburg County the 00:30 department seeks to enhance community 00:32 harmony and promote awareness of 00:33 Charlotte Mecklenburg growing 00:35 multiculturalism by facilitating 00:37 community dialogue addressing 00:39 discrimination through enforcement of 00:41 the city's fair housing ordinance 00:42 collaborating with the police 00:44 serving as mediators in conflict 00:46 resolution and ensuring Americans with 00:49 Disability Act compliance Charlotte 00:52 Mecklenburg community relations has its 00:54 roots in the civil rights movement in 00:56 Charlotte and what I'd like to do today 00:59 is give a sense of how the organization 01:03 came to be but also to place it in its 01:07 wider context I'm going to start out by 01:10 talking about the era of deepening 01:12 segregation from the 1900s into the 01:16 1960s that sets the stage for the civil 01:20 rights movement in general and 01:21 specifically for the Community Relations 01:23 office then I'll talk about that civil 01:26 rights movement and how the office got 01:29 its start in 1961 finally I'll talk 01:33 about Charlotte's changing ethic and 01:35 racial landscape today particularly with 01:37 regard to housing and geography part 1 01:43 deepening racial segregation today if 01:48 you go to Levine Museum of the new south 01:50 you can see the actual white and colored 01:53 signs from Charlotte city hall most of 01:56 us who are older Charlatans older 01:59 southerners remember these painful 02:02 symbols of segregation the 02:05 separate-but-equal world as it was 02:07 called it was always separate was never 02:09 equal and a few people though are 02:12 familiar with how 02:13 all of that got started the fact is that 02:17 racial segregation housing segregation 02:19 was not as pronounced in the late 19th 02:25 century as it was in my youth if you 02:30 look at Charlotte into the 1890s you can 02:33 see a surprising amount of mixture for 02:36 instance at the lower left of this slide 02:38 you'll see spirit square the white 02:41 Baptist Church built in the years right 02:44 after 1900 and at the top of the slide 02:46 with the blue dot is first United 02:49 Presbyterian Church a black church built 02:51 at a almost the same time it's cross 02:53 from Levine Museum of the new south in 02:56 my youth it would be inconceivable that 02:58 these two churches would be built so 03:00 close together my book sorting out the 03:03 New South City goes into this in more 03:05 detail if you're interested in in 03:07 checking out that history I apologize 03:10 for showing this slide this is a tough 03:12 part of our history but this is really 03:15 important because it was a time that was 03:19 a hinge in history for the south and 03:22 indeed for the United States in the 03:25 1890s there was an economic downturn an 03:29 honest-to-god depression much worse than 03:32 the recession that we've recently lived 03:34 through the 2008 recession and I don't 03:37 know about you but I've noticed that 03:40 politics has become kind of more ugly a 03:43 lot more name-calling a lot more 03:44 willingness to blame them 03:48 ever since 2008 well imagine what things 03:51 were like in the 1890s the beginning of 03:57 the tumult came as ordinary white folk 04:03 not the men of property and standing but 04:05 but ordinary working-class folks small 04:07 farmers joined with African Americans 04:11 who could still vote in North Carolina 04:14 well into the 1890s in something called 04:16 diffusion and they began using 04:19 government to help the little guy 04:22 it brought a backlash the men of 04:24 property and standing did not like that 04:27 how dare you take government out of the 04:29 hands of the men who own the property 04:30 and put it in the hands of those who are 04:32 ignorant and own no property said the 04:34 mayor of Charlotte it was time said the 04:37 Charlotte Observer which was very much 04:39 on the side of the men of property it 04:41 was there were their advertisers it is 04:44 time to end this rule of Negroes in the 04:47 lower-class of whites it's a statewide 04:50 movement to use white supremacy as a 04:54 wedge issue they called it the white 04:56 supremacy campaign and you can see here 05:00 that this cartoon and the Raleigh News 05:02 and Observer shows the monster Negro 05:06 rule having laid waste North Carolina 05:09 its foot is on our ballot box it's hands 05:12 are reaching out for our women and 05:14 children if you can convince people that 05:17 their economic interests are at stake 05:20 and that their safety of their women and 05:24 children is at stake then you got them 05:27 and indeed this campaign worked in 1900 05:31 North Carolina along with many other 05:33 southern states voted in a new 05:35 constitution with voter suppression poll 05:39 tax you had to pay to vote a literacy 05:41 test which sounds innocent but you had 05:44 to be able to read and interpret the 05:46 Constitution to the satisfaction of the 05:49 registrar voting participation nosedived 05:53 in North Carolina and all across the 05:55 south well that's the politics but what 06:00 happened with the hate that was stirred 06:02 up in the 1890s was the 06:07 separate-but-equal Jim Crow system that 06:11 I grew up with 50 60 years later 06:15 separate black and white water fountains 06:17 1896 first time in charlotte there are 06:20 separate black and white waiting rooms 06:23 at the Seaboard airline radiant railroad 06:26 station you have to sit at the back of 06:28 the bus if you're African American 06:30 that's a new state law in 1903 you know 06:33 you have to swear on a Bible in court 06:36 right after 1900 in the 06:38 charlotte-Mecklenburg courts there are 06:40 separate 06:40 eight and colored Bibles and that kind 06:44 of separation carries through to all 06:48 aspects of society there are deed 06:52 restrictions that suddenly appear out in 06:55 the suburbs of Elizabeth and Dilworth 06:57 places like that that say you cannot buy 07:00 property here unless it is to be used by 07:02 members of the Caucasian race for a 07:04 house costing not less than X number of 07:07 dollars which is not just racial 07:09 segregation but also economic 07:12 segregation and you can see it indeed in 07:15 the older parts of the city as well a 07:18 dramatic change this is a piece of first 07:21 Ward in 1875 first award is the area 07:24 around where Levine Museum of the new 07:26 south is Charlotte was big enough to be 07:29 split into four election districts four 07:31 Ward's and I've just picked one at 07:34 random here is where African Americans 07:38 and others lived in 1875 it was very 07:41 much as you saw with those churches 07:44 intermingled that's 1875 here is the 07:48 same part of first Ward in 1910 ten 07:51 years after the white supremacy campaign 07:55 before and after segregation did not 08:00 just happen 08:00 segregation happened at a particular 08:02 time of fear economic hardship and it 08:07 happened through decisions that were not 08:11 planned overall but were very 08:13 intentional government decisions private 08:16 decisions that split us apart 08:23 you can see that split in our landscape 08:25 if you know how to look for it if you've 08:27 been out to Noda the beautiful little 08:29 downtown that's now art galleries and 08:31 such across from heist brewery the old 08:34 Highland Park number three mill 1903 08:38 when that was built there was a downtown 08:40 minister who said just at this point in 08:43 the development of the mill people those 08:47 white working-class folks who'd voted 08:48 the wrong way in the 1890s just at this 08:52 point in the development of the mill 08:53 people perhaps it is better to let them 08:56 have their own churches and schools and 08:58 stores rather than mix promiscuously 09:01 with the better class segregation 09:05 economic very intentional 09:08 African American neighborhoods pop into 09:11 focus at this point the most impressive 09:14 of them was second Ward the Brooklyn 09:17 neighborhood where the government center 09:19 is today there's JT Williams one of the 09:22 last African American elected officials 09:24 until our era he would went on to be the 09:28 u.s. top diplomat to Sierra Leone in 09:31 West Africa that's his house at the 09:33 lower left his church in the center 09:35 actually still stands that's a Grace AME 09:38 Zion Church and also the office building 09:40 he helped build there was the first 09:43 black public library in North Carolina 09:46 the second Ward High School a complete 09:49 city within a city that's why they 09:51 called it Brooklyn it was a lot like the 09:54 community of Brooklyn in New York which 09:56 had become a city within a city in the 09:58 1890s well-to-do folks pulled away from 10:03 the city as well 10:05 Meyers Park 1911 beautiful greenways 10:09 curving streets gates at the front a 10:12 couple of those gates still exist was 10:15 where the men and property a property 10:16 and standing lived and have you ever 10:21 been lost in Myers Park I can't prove it 10:25 but I think that's intentional it's a 10:27 way of separating our residences from 10:31 the residences of the rest of the city 10:34 so that kind of separation in some 10:37 that began to come into being in the 10:39 first few years of the 20th century and 10:42 then accelerated in the 1930s and 40s 10:45 and 50s and indeed in the 1960s federal 10:50 government helped with that 10:51 inadvertently 1930s the depression was 10:56 on the mortgage market froze just like 10:59 it did in 2008 lenders just wouldn't 11:02 lend they were scared and so in the 30s 11:05 the federal government sent mappers 11:08 around to local communities talk with 11:11 the men of property and standing say 11:13 where the good neighborhoods are create 11:16 uniform maps that way somebody say in 11:19 Boston has money to lend they'll feel 11:21 confident lending in Charlotte or 11:23 Youngstown or wherever by asking the men 11:28 of property and standing where the good 11:29 neighborhoods were of course they picked 11:31 out their neighborhoods you can see the 11:33 green neighborhoods of Eastover and 11:35 Myers Park at the lower right Dilworth 11:38 Center right the country-club Berrien 11:41 Plaza Midwood in the upper right if you 11:44 drew a red line around a neighborhood it 11:47 meant that banks would be foolish to 11:50 lend there you really don't want to make 11:53 home loans in a red lined neighborhood 11:56 now if you think about that that's a 11:59 self-fulfilling prophecy because 12:02 African American neighborhoods even 12:04 mixed-race neighborhoods over time 12:06 become more and more of the province of 12:09 absentee landlords very hard to buy your 12:12 own home to invest in your neighborhood 12:15 in that way if you don't have help from 12:17 the bank and it got worse in the 1930s 12:23 the Federal Housing Administration got 12:24 started again a great program they 12:27 helped banks make long-term mortgages fa 12:30 mortgages VA mortgages Veterans 12:32 Administration mortgages but the new FHA 12:36 did not want to land in neighborhoods 12:38 that were going to go bad and so they 12:41 hired a sociologist in Chicago he went 12:43 around and talked to the men of property 12:44 and standing in Chicago and he said you 12:47 know what makes a good neighborhood and 12:48 they 12:48 they talked about ethnic groups the most 12:52 favorable come first in the list those 12:53 exerting the most detrimental effect 12:55 appear last this is the FHA underwriting 12:59 manual this is a federal document best 13:03 groups English Germans Scots Irish 13:05 Scandinavians second north Italians 13:08 third Bohemians or Czechoslovakians 13:10 those are my people maybe I should be 13:13 relieved to be third 13:16 I think I'm angry to be third fourth 13:18 poles fifth Lithuanian sixth Greeks 13:21 seventh Russian Jews of the lower class 13:23 eight South Italians nine Negros ten 13:28 Mexicans today I think that inspires a 13:34 touch of horror in us but that was a 13:37 federal policy and it gets worse in the 13:43 1950s and 60s there was federal money to 13:46 tear down blighted neighborhoods one of 13:49 the key metrics was whether a 13:51 neighborhood had a lot of run-down 13:52 absentee landlord housing well guess 13:56 what neighborhoods had those and in 13:59 reality usually it was the 14:01 African American neighborhood closest to 14:03 downtown that was demolished in 14:05 Charlotte 14:06 Brooklyn came down during the 1960's 14:09 more than a thousand families displaced 14:11 more than 200 black businesses closed 14:14 never reopened more than a dozen 14:15 churches kicked out of Brooklyn so all 14:20 of that that deepening segregation 14:23 brings us to the time of the civil 14:25 rights movement the civil rights 14:27 movement had been going on for a long 14:30 time before white America really became 14:33 aware of it in the late 1950s and early 14:35 1960s it had been going on for a long 14:38 time in Charlotte 1951 a lawyer named 14:42 Thomas white worked with his neighbors 14:46 to file a lawsuit attempting to 14:49 desegregate revolution' Park on the 14:52 southwest side of the city the golf 14:54 course in particular was the only 14:57 municipal golf course there were African 15:00 American professionals who liked to play 15:02 golf 15:02 they couldn't play 1951 they filed a 15:06 lawsuit if that lawsuit had been decided 15:10 quickly we probably would be reading 15:12 about public park desegregation in 15:14 Charlotte in all of the history books 15:17 the same way that we read about public 15:20 bus desegregation by Rosa Parks a few 15:22 years later in all the history books but 15:25 instead it took many years for that suit 15:28 to be decided but revolution Park was 15:31 desegregated similarly in 1954 Thomas 15:35 whites and African American dentist 15:37 Reginald Hawkins and some friends went 15:40 out to the brand new airport terminal 15:43 just open July of 1954 federal project 15:49 with federal money the federal world was 15:52 supposed to be desegregated interstate 15:54 transport was supposed to be 15:56 desegregated but the dining room at the 16:00 airport was not and they went they sat 16:04 in filed a court case in 1956 long 16:10 before the sit-in movement 16:12 Charlotte's Airport desegregated so 16:16 people here were working trying to find 16:18 some way to change this this world of 16:21 inequality 1957 16:25 Reginald Hawkins Thomas white Kelly 16:28 Alexander from the n-double-a-cp 16:30 chapter in Charlotte work with Herbert's 16:33 pas the superintendent of schools to win 16:38 admission of four black students to 16:42 white schools in Charlotte 16:45 this was belated the Supreme Court in 16:48 1954 had said in the brown decision the 16:52 desegregation had to happen but they 16:55 said with all deliberate speed what does 16:57 that mean well it took a long time 1957 17:02 for students went to black 17:05 students went to white schools here is 17:08 the most famous of them dorothy counts 17:10 who went to Harding High School was met 17:12 by a mob not a violent mob but 17:15 ugly mop these photos were on the front 17:17 pages of newspapers all across the 17:19 United States it really though wasn't 17:24 until 1960 when this became a mass 17:28 movement and the folks that did that 17:30 were not part of the African American 17:33 power structure as people like dr. 17:36 Hawkins and attorney White's had been 17:38 they were students and you know this 17:41 story 17:41 students at A&T University in Greensboro 17:44 including Franklin McCain later a 17:46 longtime Charlotte resident began the 17:49 sit-in movement in early February it 17:51 spread to historically black colleges 17:53 around North Carolina and then around 17:55 the South hit Charlotte about a week 17:58 later and that student movement here you 18:01 see folks sitting in in Charlotte took 18:05 months but it began to really bring a 18:09 change one of the people by the way who 18:13 led that is still around if you all have 18:15 not met Charles Jones spokesperson for 18:19 Charlotte's 1960 sit-ins he is a 18:22 wonderful resource and has the ability 18:25 to make you laugh to make you angry at 18:28 the injustice as the past and the 18:30 present and to make you cry at the 18:34 courage of those who fought so long and 18:38 so hard well out of that student 18:44 movement this sense that students were 18:47 rising up and they couldn't be 18:48 controlled came the mayor's friendly 18:52 Relations Committee Mayor James s Smith 18:56 February 1960 brought together older 19:01 cooler heads to work with the students 19:04 black as well as white and it was a 19:09 courageous thing to do for a southern 19:12 political leader to say we are not going 19:15 to use police dogs and fire hoses as 19:18 Bull Connor did in Birmingham a few 19:20 years later but we are going to talk and 19:24 that tradition of talking at that 19:27 moment that became Charlotte's legacy 19:31 going forward here is the actual memo 19:34 it's the UNC Charlotte archives in which 19:38 the committee has worked out the 19:40 desegregation of key lunch counters 19:43 downtown at Belk grants five-and-dime 19:46 store Ivy's department store crass 19:49 Liggett's you can see that Sears isn't 19:51 quite sure at this moment and Woolworth 19:53 this is dated July 4th 1960 and indeed 19:57 Charlotte's lunch counters desegregated 20:00 at a time when many cities across the 20:03 South said no never and continued to 20:06 fight that itself would have been a good 20:10 thing if the mayor's friend relations 20:13 committee never did anything else but 20:16 then in 1961 mayor Stan Berkshire was 20:19 elected Stan Brookshire is the guy the 20:20 Berkshire freeway is named for and he 20:23 was a very much an activist mayor and he 20:27 looked at this committee and he said 20:30 let's make it a permanent thing he 20:32 renamed it the mayor's committee in the 20:35 mayor's Community Relations Committee in 20:37 1961 and expanded its scope don't just 20:41 deal with city in issues deal with 20:43 issues housing deal with issues of 20:45 Economic Opportunity make the 20:48 connections do the talking that we need 20:50 to begin to bring us together as a true 20:53 community just a few things that 20:58 happened in the next few years to give 21:01 you a sense and I'm not sure exactly how 21:04 the Community Relations Commission was a 21:06 committee was involved in these but I 21:09 know that the fact that people talk to 21:11 each other put Charlotte at the 21:13 forefront particularly in May of 1963 21:17 you know that May 20 is met that day the 21:21 day we celebrate our colonial freedom 21:23 well on May 20th 1963 dr. Reginald 21:27 Hawkins that African American dentist 21:29 led a march of Johnson C Smith students 21:32 down to City Hall and demanded the 21:35 segregation at upscale the end of 21:37 segregation at upscale restaurants 21:40 the lunch counters had desegregated but 21:42 then the white tablecloth restaurants 21:44 even cafeterias movie theaters we're 21:47 still segregated and Hawkins made a 21:50 stirring speech the time for tokenism is 21:54 over the kind of one by one token 21:58 desegregation that you saw with the 22:00 school so the time for tokenism is over 22:02 the time for gradualism is over we want 22:04 freedom and we want it now and a 22:08 remarkable thing happened Brookshire 22:11 listened it helped that that very month 22:14 was when Bull Connor in Birmingham had 22:17 the police dogs and fire hoses out was 22:20 on international television making the 22:24 South look like a police state 22:26 Brookshire said that's bad for business 22:29 Brooks forgot Chamber of Commerce 22:32 officials to invite African Americans to 22:35 lunch one or two at a time going to each 22:39 of those upscale restaurants they called 22:40 them in advance they talked with the 22:42 newspapers and said you don't want to 22:43 cover this until after it's happened and 22:45 it worked within a week most of the 22:51 upscale restaurants desegregated within 22:53 a few weeks the movie theaters 22:55 everything else desegregated was 22:58 mentioned in the New York Times the 23:00 folks at the Kennedy White House were 23:02 aware of it it was a year before this 23:05 became a national requirement through 23:08 the 1964 Civil Rights Act 23:10 at that moment Birmingham was vying with 23:14 Atlanta to be the leading city of the 23:17 new south today Charlotte is three times 23:21 the size of Birmingham it was a moment 23:24 at which Charlotte staked its destiny on 23:27 equality hasn't been perfect still 23:33 working on it but this was a key moment 23:38 Reginald Hawkins paid a price for that 23:40 so did Kelly Alexander they end up lacy 23:43 P chief Fred Alexander the first black 23:46 public elected public official in that 23:49 era and Julius chambers the civil rights 23:52 attorney 23:53 November 1965 in the dark of night four 23:56 houses 23:57 bombed no one ever found out who did it 24:01 but folks kept on here's a little thing 24:05 Elmwood Cemetery had still does an area 24:09 at the back called Pinewood cemetery one 24:12 was the white section one was the black 24:13 section there was a fence between 24:16 Elmwood and Pinewood what the dead white 24:19 people and the dead black people were 24:21 gonna do that they needed a fence 24:22 separating them no one has ever 24:24 explained to me but finally in January 24:27 of 1969 Fred Alexander got that fence 24:31 torn down part three Charlotte's 24:39 changing ethnic and racial landscape 24:41 today so that segregation that we saw 24:47 coming into place which ironically got 24:50 worse during the 1960s is the result of 24:52 the demolition of the Brooklyn 24:54 neighborhood left a city that resembles 24:58 many other American cities because 24:59 they've been through the same forces the 25:03 well-to-do sector here it's in the 25:06 southeast a predominantly 25:08 African American sector on the opposite 25:10 side of town and some kind of in between 25:14 sectors South Boulevard the East Side 25:16 not particularly well-to-do but 25:19 originally white areas well a 25:23 fascinating thing has happened I'm going to 25:25 focus here on East Charlotte because 25:27 that's where I live that's what I know 25:28 but it's going on elsewhere as well 25:31 those middling kind of areas as the US 25:36 Fair Housing Act took hold in 1968 as 25:39 the Community Reinvestment Act requires 25:40 that lenders not let red line that they 25:43 lend in all neighborhoods a Charlotte 25:48 the South Boulevard area other parts of 25:51 the city went from being nearly a 25:53 hundred percent white to being about 25 25:56 percent African American which is 25:58 basically Charlotte they began to look 26:01 like Charlotte and in my part of town 26:04 there are black pockets and white 26:06 pockets but 26:07 overall it's been remarkably stable for 26:11 the last 35 40 years then in the 1990s 26:17 we began to experience a new kind of 26:20 newcomer wave for one thing a tremendous 26:25 increase in population if you don't take 26:28 any other one fact from this 26:30 presentation know that in 1990 26:34 Mecklenburg County had about half a 26:35 million people it just recently passed a 26:38 million doubling in size over 25 years 26:43 but a lot of those folks not a majority 26:47 but a significant new small number are 26:50 coming from other parts of the world and 26:53 this is a new thing for Charlotte 26:55 Charlotte had almost no immigrants for 26:58 most of its history and then suddenly in 27:01 the 1990s we were the fourth fastest 27:03 growing Latino city in the United States 27:06 since 2000 we've been the fastest 27:10 growing major Latino Metro in the US and 27:14 it's not just Latino folks are 27:17 coming from Mexico yep they're coming 27:18 from India they're coming from Vietnam 27:20 they're coming from El Salvador from 27:22 Korea from North Africa from the Middle 27:24 East and where are they going well 27:29 they're going to those old middling 27:32 areas as much as anywhere else to the 27:34 South Boulevard area Central Avenue to 27:36 the east side and they are not 27:39 segregating now that is hard to imagine 27:44 because when we think of ethnic America 27:47 we think of Chinatown so we think of 27:50 Little Italy's Charlotte doesn't have 27:53 one I've been told that Charlotte 27:56 doesn't have much international presence 27:58 does it because it doesn't have that but 28:02 what it does instead is it has these 28:05 suburban salad bowls the old suburbs 50s 28:10 60s 70s 80s are now inexpensive they're 28:14 affordable and people are mingling like 28:19 like 28:20 items in a salad you know you could 28:22 still see the lettuce the tomatoes the 28:24 onions anchovies whatever the dressing 28:28 but it's a new dish and you go out in 28:33 the east side of town and there's the 28:34 Cambodian video store next to the 28:36 Salvadoran deli 28:37 there's the Saigon Bistro next to the 28:39 Arab meat market there is the European 28:42 grocery from Bosnia with those amazing 28:45 sausage sandwiches and the Vietnamese 28:48 poolhall with the bond me submarine 28:51 sandwiches that kind of mixture is a new 28:56 frontier for Charlotte you can see it in 28:59 the the little shopping centers you can 29:02 see it in the mix of housing here we are 29:05 on Central Avenue at Rose Haven down 29:07 below some old apartments above some 29:10 duplexes and single-family homes and if 29:13 you drive by quickly you say oh well 29:15 this is the Mexican part of town and 29:17 indeed there's a Mexican grocery store 29:19 but in the same shopping center there's 29:22 also a pupusas joint from El Salvador 29:26 Pusa they don't have tacos in El 29:28 Salvador they have pupusas little 29:30 cornmeal pancakes stuff them with beans 29:33 with cheese with chopped pork mmm YUM so 29:37 two different cultures here in this one 29:40 shopping center actually three different 29:42 cultures because there's a Vietnamese 29:44 soup parlor actually for different 29:47 cultures cedar land folks from Syria 29:50 Lebanon Egypt even Morocco in five 29:55 different cultures Jamila's 29:57 international cuisine Jamila and her 30:00 friend Hamza came here from Somalia in 30:03 the upper right hand corner of Africa 30:07 their mosque is around the corner on 30:09 progress lane in in Somalia women can't 30:13 start a business nobody can start a 30:15 business a civil war is on but here is 30:18 the came as refugees they found that the 30:21 workers at the airport a lot of them 30:23 from North Africa wanted the food from 30:26 home and the taxi drivers who came back 30:28 and forth carrying that food many of 30:30 them from North Africa they wanted a 30:32 place for their noon day prayer 30:33 so they found cheap rent on Central 30:37 Avenue the open Jamila's international 30:40 restaurant now it's a restaurant in a 30:41 grocery store it's the American dream 30:44 and that kind of mixed neighborhood 30:50 that's evolving on Central Avenue that 30:53 kind of new entrepreneurial class we 30:57 talked about wanting to welcome and 30:59 entrepreneurs to Charlotte to make sure 31:01 a place for new businesses and new ideas 31:04 that's what you're seeing in those kind 31:07 of places it's instructive to look at a 31:11 map of where foreign-born folks reside 31:15 in Charlotte indeed South Boulevard and 31:18 Central Avenue are heavy areas but as 31:23 you can see from the pink areas on this 31:25 map international communities are all 31:28 throughout the city very different from 31:31 the patterns of black and white that I 31:33 grew up with so change is happening and 31:39 Community Relations is in the middle of 31:41 that we've become a city in which there 31:43 is no longer a white majority rest of 31:46 the United States will be catching up 31:47 with us very soon and none of this has 31:50 heard our desirability like I said we 31:53 just hit 1 million 31:54 I haven't slowed down a bit even with 31:57 the 2008 recession so as community 32:01 relations goes about its work know that 32:04 it comes from history that it's part of 32:08 that grassroots movement for true civil 32:12 rights in a segregated south and that 32:16 Charlotte Mecklenburg Community 32:18 Relations is making history by helping 32:22 us talk together it's drawing on an 32:24 important heritage but it's a heritage 32:27 that is very important today as we are 32:31 becoming a more and more diverse 32:33 Charlotte
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Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee