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Mae Clark Orr, 2007 April 5

Identifier: OH-OR0390

Scope and Contents

Mae C. Orr shares her memories of growing up and living in the Greenville community in Charlotte, North Carolina as well as her experiences visiting the Charlotte neighborhood of Brooklyn, also known as Second Ward. She describes attending the segregated West Charlotte High School during the 1940s, then returning there to teach as an adult after integration. She discusses the rivalry between West Charlotte High School and Second Ward High School, including fights between students at the two schools, and differences between the westside neighborhoods of Greenville and Biddleville and Brooklyn. Ms. Orr recounts how her mother joined the United House of Prayer for All People while the rest of her family continued to attend Second Calvary Baptist Church. She remembers how some members of African American church in Charlotte were critical of the House of Prayer because members seemed to worship its leader, Bishop "Sweet Daddy" Grace. Ms. Orr describes at length James Ross, who was one of Charlotte's first African American police officers who was hired in the 1940s and Ms. Orr's neighbor. She characterizes Mr. Ross as nice to her, but violent and disliked by many in her community, and describes her recollection of his dismissal from the police force. She also talks about the quality of housing in Greenville and in Brooklyn, and how the city took out all housing during urban renewal in targeted neighborhoods, whether it was in good condition or disrepair.


  • Creation: 2007 April 5

Conditions Governing Access

3 of the 57 interviews have been digitized and are available in the digital repository.

Biographical Note

Mae C. Orr was a 75-year-old woman at the time of interview, which took place in her home in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was born in Charlotte in 1929. She was educated at Johnson C. Smith University and North Carolina Central University and was employed as a teacher.


66 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

About this Site

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