Charlotte as a New South City: Using the Collections at the Levine Museum of the New South

Shep McKinley, Lecturer of History,
UNC Charlotte

This seminar will explore Charlotte’s transition to a New South city during the century after 1870. Using the Levine Museum of the New South’s “Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers” exhibit and working with historians Shep McKinley (UNC Charlotte) and Tom Hanchett (Levine), CTI Fellows will explore this unique time in the city’s history to gain a better understanding of present-day Charlotte-Mecklenburg. How did Charlotte evolve from a cotton trading hub into one of the nation’s premier banking cities while becoming increasingly segregated? What subcultures developed during this period? Was Charlotte a “typical” southern city? What are some of the lingering effects of this era in modern Charlotte? After studying and discussing some of the historical literature and the various aspects of this era – including the cotton economy and sharecropping, the rise of textile mills and mill villages, Populism and Jim Crow, music and religion, banks and transportation, and residential segregation and busing – Fellows will choose specific subtopics to create their curriculum units.

Participating Fellows