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Jonathan Belton, 2014-09-01


Scope and Contents

From the Collection:

Keeping Watch: City of Creeks includes video interviews with individuals, pairs, and groups of people about their experiences with Charlotte Mecklenburg creeks and rivers. The interviews were conducted by history graduate student Tenille Todd in cooperation with Mary Newsom, Associate Director of Urban and Regional Affairs at the Urban Institute. The interviews were part of Keeping Watch, a three-year initiative (2014-2016) led by the Urban Institute, the College of Arts and Architecture, and independent arts curator, June Lambla of Lambla artWORKS. The interdisciplinary project invited artists, historians, writers, scientists and environmental groups to engage the public around environmental issues.


  • Other: 2014-09-01


Conditions Governing Access

Original audiovisual materials are closed to patron use. Please contact Special Collections to request the creation of use copies for particular items; requests will be accommodated when possible. The remaining materials are open for research.

Biographical Note

Johnathan P. Belton was a 58-year-old man at the time of this interview, which took place in Grier Heights in Charlotte, North Carolina. He was born in Charlotte, North Carolina in 1956. He was educated at Lees-McRae College and Livingstone College. He was employed at Anuvia Prevention & Recovery Center as an addiction counselor until he retired.


21 Minutes

Language of Materials



Jonathan Belton describes his childhood activities playing with his friends in Briar Creek adjacent to the neighborhood of Grier Heights in Charlotte, North Carolina. He describes catching tadpoles and digging out gray clay from the banks of the creek to make ashtrays and other articles. He remembers spending time in a place that he and his friends called the "Big Boy Hole" swimming hole, located behind the Mint Museum close to Randolph Road. Mr. Belton also discusses his education and participation in swimming programs, as well as the difficulty his peers and older acquaintances in his neighborhood used to have in learning to swim. He concludes the interview with reminiscences of being a black student at the virtually all-white Lees-McRae College in Banner Elk, and the lingering racial propaganda spread by white American soldiers that he encountered when he visited Korea in the 1980s.

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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