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Vernon Sawyer, 2004 April 19

Identifier: OH-SA0394

Scope and Contents

Vernon Sawyer recounts his experiences as the executive director of the Charlotte Redevelopment Commission, which was responsible for Charlotte, North Carolina's urban renewal program in the 1960s and 1970s. Mr. Sawyer talks in detail about urban renewal in Charlotte's Brooklyn neighborhood, including selecting Brooklyn first for urban renewal, poor housing conditions, Avery Hood, a social worker responsible for helping to relocate Brooklyn residents, and the advantage of having an African American relocation director, Edward Waddell. He also discusses working as a city and regional planner in Norfolk, Virginia prior to moving to Charlotte, integration in neighborhoods and offices, negative public sentiment towards urban renewal, and facing multiple lawsuits filed by the Legal Aid Society.


  • Creation: 2004 April 19

Conditions Governing Access

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

Biographical Note

Vernon Sawyer was an 81-year-old man at the time of interview, which took place over the phone. He was born in Hyde County, North Carolina in 1922. He graduated from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill in 1952 with a Master of Regional Planning degree and was employed as a city and regional planner and as the executive director of the Charlotte Redevelopment Commission.


57 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

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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