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Girvaud Justice [2], 2006 August 11

Identifier: OH-JU0525

Scope and Contents

Girvaud Justice was one of four African American students who attended all-white schools in Charlotte in 1957 as a challenge to the city's slow response to desegregate schools, which had been mandated by the Supreme Court ruling in Brown v. Board of Education in 1954. In this second of four interviews, Mrs. Justice continues to discuss her school experience at Piedmont Junior High School, her family's move during urban renewal, and challenges that her neighborhood of Belmont has faced since. Mrs. Justice explains that while she and her brother Gus did not face extreme hostility, their pioneer efforts did not lead to a change in public opinion about school integration, and she was ultimately prevented from attending the all-white Garinger High School. Mrs. Justice continues with a reflection on the impact that Charlotte city planning has had on poor black neighborhoods, describing her own family's enforced move from First Ward to make way for a road which never materialized. She recalls that hers was the first black family to move into the Belmont neighborhood, where they witnessed the practice of blockbusting by property speculators as more displaced black families sought places to live. Mrs. Justice describes the increase in crime, including drug trafficking, that her neighborhood has struggled with, and also the negative consequences of gentrification, which has led to increased property taxes that have priced poorer people out of the neighborhood.


  • Creation: 2006 August 11

Conditions Governing Access

All 15 interviews in the collection are available in the digital repository. Original audiovisual material is closed to patron use.

Biographical Note

Girvaud Justice was a 61-year-old woman at the time of interview, which took place in St. Luke United Methodist Church. She was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1944. She was educated at UNC Charlotte and Central Piedmont Community College; and was employed with the U.S. Postal Service as a station manager and data technician, and with the Social Security Administration and the Charlotte Water Department in administrative roles.


82 Minutes

Language of Materials


Repository Details

Part of the Oral Histories, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

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Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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