De Hi Sco , page 74
A new batch of yearbooks and campus publications from Charlotte Mecklenburg Library
adds more primary sources to help tell the story of segregation in the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System during the mid-twentieth century. The yearbooks tell the stories of the predominantly white community, while the catalogs document education in the segregated black community in the Charlotte area.
The yearbooks are like many hosted on DigitalNC, documenting the lives and activities of students during the early 1950’s. They reflect many of the fashion and cultural patterns of the period for students in the white community.
The Viking , page 44
Newly Digitized Yearbooks:
In addition, this batch also contains several campus publications from Carver College (later Mecklenburg College), the predominantly black community college in the area. The catalogues detail the many program offerings and degree types that were available for students.
Carver College has a unique story. This community college and its white counterpart, Charlotte College, were the center pivot of the segregation debate for the Charlotte Mecklenburg School System during the early 1960’s. The debate centered on whether Charlotte needed both community colleges or if the city could be served by just one, integrated community college. These catalogs demonstrate the level of education at stake for those in the black community in Charlotte, prior to the community college debate. You can see more primary sources about the community college debate in Charlotte by following this link to another post on the DigitalNC Blog.
Newly Digitized Campus Publications:
Carver College Annual Catalogue [1959-1960], page 2
Mecklenburg College Annual Catalogue [1962-1963], page 2
All of these documents help to paint a picture of segregation, desegregation, and the complexities involved with each for a complicated debate in mid-century North Carolina. These primary sources could be excellent resources for teachers creating lesson plans about this period, seeking tangible documents from local communities.
To learn more about Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, please visit their contributor page or their homepage. To see more yearbooks and campus publications that tell the stories of communities in times of transition, check out the North Carolina Yearbooks Collection and limit your search by year.