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Walter Dial, 2004 May 12

Identifier: BB-DI0003

Scope and Contents

Walter Dial reminisces about his childhood and youth growing up in Charlotte's Third Ward and attending local segregated schools in the 1930s and 1940s, including Isabella Wyche Elementary and Second Ward High School. Mr. Dial describes the white and black residents of Third Ward, and discusses other nearby communities, including Dilworth, Brooklyn, Blue Heaven, Greenville, Cherry, Second Ward, and Biddleville. He describes extracurricular activities he participated in during high school, including baseball, football, and working in the cafeteria; as well as recreation outside of school, including rollerskating and visiting young women in different neighborhoods. Mr. Dial also talks about racial tensions in Charlotte, including his experiences working as a teenager during the summer delivering telegrams and encountering hostile white youth and adults in North Charlotte (now this area is called NoDa). He describes the businesses in Charlotte's neighborhoods during the 1930s-1950s, and notes that many of the grocery store and other business owners in the black communities were white.


  • Creation: 2004 May 12

Conditions Governing Access

16 of the 23 interviews that comprise the Era Before Brown v. Board of Education oral history project have been digitized and are available in the digital repository. Original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use.

Biographical Note

Walter Dial was a 74-year-old man at the time of interview, which took place in his home in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1930. He was educated at Second Ward High School, and was employed as a medical assistant and a purchasing agent.


112 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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