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Barbara C. Steele, 2004 April 1

Identifier: OH-ST0397

Scope and Contents

Barbara Steele recounts her childhood and life in Brooklyn, a historic African American neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina, before it was torn down during urban renewal in the 1960s. She describes how close-knit and self-sufficient the community was. In particular, Mrs. Steele discusses the supportive atmosphere the teachers created at Second Ward High School, describing it as a second home. She also talks about the Queen City Classic, an annual football game between Second Ward and West Charlotte high schools that was a major social event for Charlotte's African American high school students and community. Mrs. Steele then discusses how urban renewal destroyed her neighborhood. She relates how residents fruitlessly spoke out against the project, and her family's failed legal battle with the city over adequate compensation for their homes.


  • Creation: 2004 April 1

Conditions Governing Access

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

Biographical Note

Barbara Steele was a 71-year-old woman at the time of interview, which took place at her home in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was born in Charlotte in 1932. She was educated at Second Ward High School, Johnson C. Smith, and the University of Connecticut, and was employed as a teacher.


27 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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