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University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Library. Southern Historical Collection.
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  • North Carolina--Race Relations
  • African Americans--Civil Rights--North Carolina
  • Charlotte (N
  • C
  • )--Social Life And Customs
  • North Carolina--Social Life And Customs
  • Charlotte (N
  • C
  • )--Race Relations
  • African Americans--Segregation--North Carolina--Charlotte
  • African Americans--North Carolina--Charlotte
  • Charlotte (N
  • C
  • )--History
  • Discrimination In Employment--North Carolina--Charlotte
  • Public Housing--North Carolina--Charlotte
  • Charlotte (N
  • C
  • )--Economic Conditions
  • Community Development--North Carolina--Charlotte
  • North Carolina--History
  • Economics
  • Education


Mrs. Florine Dennis discusses her upbringing in South Carolina and in the predominately black Cherry neighborhood of Charlotte and notes the rural to urban differences. She talks about affirmative action's influence over blacks' increased job opportunities since the 1970s in Charlotte. Despite affirmative job policies, Mrs. Dennis mentions the crucial need of blacks obtaining some form of higher education in order to succeed economically. She openly talks of the drug and crime problems in the neighborhood. As a single parent of three sons and a Habitat homeowner, Mrs. Dennis decided to reclaim the community from drug dealers by calling the police and joining the Belmont Neighborhood Strategy Force (BNSF). She discusses the threats she received from drug dealers after she began protesting their presence in Belmont. She also expresses ambivalence toward the role of police in the community, stating that there was some unwarranted police harassment of residents despite their role in reducing the prevalence of drug dealers in the neighborhood. Mrs. Dennis mentions her hopes that the federal Hope VI initiative will revitalize the neighborhood, yet she is concerned that higher taxes may push people out of the community.

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