- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Student Project on the Charlotte African American Community
- Marty Johnson Saunders oral history interview 2, 2006 December 7
Marty Johnson Saunders oral history interview 2, 2006 December 7
Charlotte native and teacher Marty Saunders continues the conversation about her life and the Biddleville neighborhood where she grew up in this second interview. She explains that during the 1940s-1950s, Biddleville had a strong sense of community and that many of its residents were well-educated homeowners with professional jobs, and that there was very little crime. Mrs. Saunders describes her early interactions with white people as limited but mostly pleasant, and says that she never had a negative attitude toward white people when growing up. She talks about urban renewal and how part of the Biddleville neighborhood was torn down, including the house where she grew up. She also describes some of the other African American neighborhoods in Charlotte, including Greenville and McCrorey Heights, and the poor white community of Stumptown. Mrs. Saunders relates a sense of anger from some of her former neighbors for losing their community, and says that the new neighborhoods do not have the same values and communal spirit of Biddleville. She opines that there will never be another neighborhood like the Biddleville of her youth, and that while largely beneficial, integration has taken the "blackness" out of the culture of her children's generation.