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Manuscripts

Manuscripts collections digitized for the Living Charlotte project. Whole collections are digitized when possible. Exceptions may include exact duplicates; some non-unique clippings, ephemera, publications or research files; financial documentation; personal information; or materials too fragile for digitization.

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Guide to Living Charlotte Manuscripts Collections


Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education Collections

Julius L. Chambers Papers, 1964-1979

Files of a Charlotte attorney and his firm, Chambers, Stein, Ferguson, and Lanning, relating to their representation of Darius and Vera Swann and other plaintiffs in the landmark case, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts were constitutionally authorized to exercise broad powers to oversee and produce solutions to achieve school integration, which could include using student quotas as a starting point, and developing new attendance zones and busing policies to achieve more racially balanced schools.

Includes pleadings prepared by Chambers and attorneys for the Board of Education at the District, Circuit, and Supreme Court levels; court rulings and opinions; correspondence; clippings; research materials; statistics; desegregation plans prepared by the board and court consultant John Finger; proposed attendance zone maps; transcripts of proceedings; and depositions, briefs, and notes.

Benjamin S. Horack Papers, 1968-1971

Papers of a Charlotte attorney relating to his defense of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education in the landmark case, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that federal courts were constitutionally authorized to exercise broad powers to oversee and produce solutions to achieve school integration, which could include using student quotas as a starting point, and developing new attendance zones and busing policies to achieve more racially balanced schools.

Consists primarily of legal documentation of proceedings and briefs prepared by defendants and plaintiffs for presentation to the U.S. District Court for Western North Carolina, the U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Also includes maps of proposed attendance zones, notes and correspondence, and data on pupil placement plans and school transportation costs.

Margaret Whitton Ray Papers, 1972-1974

Papers of Margaret Whitton Ray, who formed the Citizens Advisory Group (CAG) in November, 1973 to develop pupil assignment guidelines for integrating Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools as an alternative to the more conservative integration plan proposed by Charlotte-Mecklenburg school administrators.

The group's 25 members were selected by their school "feeder area" or civic organization to speak to the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education concerning their views on pupil assignment. Organizing itself into an advisory group to the Board of Education and its staff, CAG adopted a set of guidelines, which were presented to the U.S. District Court in May, 1974. A compromise of the CAG and School Board plans was eventually accepted by U.S. District Court Judge James B. McMillan, who oversaw Charlotte-Mecklenburg school integration following the Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education Supreme Court decision.

Includes clippings, correspondence, findings and recommendations, reports, worksheets, notes, the CAG plan for pupil reassignment, and the joint proposal for school assignment that was ultimately approved.


Charlotte Mayor's Committees on Race Relations Collections

Charlotte Mayor's Committee on Race Relations Records, 1960-1965 (Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library)
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee Records, 1960-1969
(UNC Charlotte)

Charlotte mayor (from 1957-1961) James Saxon Smith formed the Mayor’s Friendly Relationship Committee (MFRC) in response to sit-ins at lunch counters in some of uptown Charlotte’s department, variety, and drugstores on February 12, 1960. By July 1960, the MFRC had helped the lunch counter owners and student protestors come to an agreement, resulting in the integration of many of Charlotte’s lunch counters. The work of the committee continued and expanded to explore issues of housing, education, equal opportunities for work, crime, and the impact of segregation on communities. Stan Brookshire was elected mayor of Charlotte in 1961, and the committee was then restructured and renamed to the Mayor’s Community Relations Committee (MCRC).

Two archival collections detailing the work of the Mayor's Committee were digitized for Living Charlotte. One is held by the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Public Library, and centers around the work of committee chairman John R. Cunningham. The other collection is held by UNC Charlotte, and includes content about other North Carolina and national mayor's committees for improving race relations.


Other Collections

Charlotte and Mecklenburg County Aerial Photographs, circa 1948-1950

We regret that this collection has been taken down due to new information identifying the copyright holder.

To view the physical collection of aerial photographs, contact or visit the Robinson-Spangler Carolina Room, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Libraries, which is where this collection is held. For more information about permissions or to order digital copies of aerial photographs of Charlotte, please contact National Aerial Resources, LLC by phone at 800-827-2994. Before calling, please view their ordering instructions:  http://www.aerialsearch.net/Ordering.html.

Frank O. Sherrill Papers, 1963

The collection primarily consists of newspaper clippings and letters collected by Frank O. Sherrill. Sherrill was the co-founder of the S&W Cafeteria chain, which, like many other restaurants in the South during the time, denied service to black patrons through the early 1960s. By 1963, civil rights supporters pushed for desegregation of public accommodations throughout the South. S&W faced pressure from the public and from civil rights organizations to desegregate their restaurants, which they ultimately did.

Kelly Alexander, Sr. Papers Concerning the NAACP, 1948-1998

This collection documents the activities of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), with an emphasis on the work and correspondence of Kelly Alexander, Sr. and his sons Kelly Alexander, Jr. and Alfred Alexander in Charlotte, North Carolina. The collection contains minutes, correspondence, reports, speeches, press releases, membership records, photographs, memorabilia and a small amount of material on the Alexander Funeral Home. Topics covered include school segregation, housing and employment discrimination and the Charlotte Area Fund.

Records of the Director of Public Relations Moses S. Belton

Records include correspondence, reports, articles, pamphlets, clippings, and related materials of Johnson C. Smith University's Development Office under Director of Public Relations Moses S. Belton. Moses S. Belton graduated from Johnson C. Smith with majors in mathematics and philosophy in 1933, and from the Theology program in 1936. He returned professionally to Johnson C. Smith in 1942 to serve as Associate Dean of Men. Belton was best known in his role as the first full time Director of Public Relations at the university, a position he served in from 1950-1970. Belton retired from Johnson C. Smith in 1974.
 
The bulk of materials date from the 1960s, and primarily consist of correspondence between Belton and Development Office staff, and current and prospective students; scholarship, loan, and award recipients; non-profit and religious organizations; alumni; and the press. Also included in this series are Public Relations office publications and biographical information about Moses S. Belton. Johnson C. Smith (JCSU) is a private, four-year research university located in Charlotte, NC, and is a historically black college. It was founded in 1867 as the Biddle Memorial Institute.

This digital collection represents a part of the Development Office records, held by Johnson C. Smith University.