- Goldmine: Root
- Oral History Collections
- Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick and De Kirkpatrick on the Legacy of Slavery in Mecklenburg County
- Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick and H.D. Kirkpatrick oral history interview 3, 2017 October 23
Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick and H.D. Kirkpatrick oral history interview 3, 2017 October 23
In this third of four related interviews,, H.D. Kirkpatrick and Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick continue to discuss their relationship as it developed after their revelation that their family histories are connected through slavery in Charlotte and Mecklenburg County. They describe how they started to give presentations about their family stories to public groups starting in 2013 and the various reactions they experienced at different venues in the Charlotte area. While the audiences have reacted positively, Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick recalls some of his relatives' difficulty understanding why he would talk about his family's history in slavery. H.D. Kirkpatrick explains the amnesia that white people have concerning slavery in the United States and their resistance to discussing or learning more about slavery, particularly in their own family histories. Both H.D. and Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick talk about their conviction that education and discussion about slavery and race provide a way to cleanse the country of the emotional and psychological trauma imposed by the system. Both men also discuss how Charlotte as a city has changed since their youth in the 1950s and 1960s. Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick reflects on demonstrations in Charlotte following the killing of Keith Lamont Scott in 2016, and notes that he believes this would not have happened when he was a boy. In general the Kirkpatricks show optimism for Charlotte's future and recognize that people are working together to try and solve the community's problems.