Images of Black History
After the Civil War, many former slaves prospered. They built fine homes,
like this two-story Four Square style house at 414 North Myers St. in First
Ward. It was the home of Samuel and Anderson McKnight, who had been born
Charlotte had an African American newspaper in the 1800's. The founder,
editor and publisher of the Charlotte Messenger was W. C. Smith. A
Grace A.M.E. Zion Church, he believed that blacks must be totally
upright and virtuous to be accepted by whites.
One of the major social events for African Americans in Charlotte was the
Christmas reception at the home of Bishop George Wiley Clinton, minister at
Little Rock A.M.E. Zion Church. You see the Bishop standing at the front
with his wife over his left shoulder.
Black men and women owned and operated their own business. This picture
was made about 1910 in front of the Queen City Drug Store on E. Second St.
in Brooklyn. Almost all of Brooklyn or Second Ward was demolished by the
City's Urban Renewal program in the 1960's and 1970's.
This is the slave burial ground on the
W. T. Alexander Plantation near UNCC. Simple rocks mark most of the
gravesites. Mecklenburg County was one of the largest cotton producing
counties in the North Carolina Piedmont. About 40 percent of the entire
population were slaves before the Civil War.
This is the largest headstone in the W. T. Alexander Slave Burial Ground.
It was erected after the Civil by the children of two slaves, Soloman
Alexander and Violet Alexander. Slaves frequently used the names of their
masters. This slave burial ground is highly endangered. The land is zoned
Blacks provided much of the labor for heavy mover J. P. Carr. This
photograph taken about 1920's shows Carr (the man in the far right wearing a
hat) and his black crew hauling a monument to Elmwood Cemetery.
Mrs. Olivia Siglar standing in front of her home at 222 N. Myers St. The
house was later destroyed by the City's Urban Renewal program for First
This photograph shows the student body of Rockwell Rosenwald
School in Derita prior to 1935, when a tornado demolished the upper story.
Mrs. Elizabeth Weinstein loaned the photograph to the Historic Landmarks
Commission. If anyone recognizes someone, please notify the Historic
Landmarks Commission at 704-376-9115.