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Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class, and Urban Development in Charlotte, Second Edition

by Thomas W. Hanchett

book cover
University of North Carolina Press, 2020. Click image to buy.

Explore how Charlotte grew big – and how it grew segregated, both by race and class. 

A new preface to the Second Edition brings the story up to today, tackling issues of immigration, affordable housing and more.

Hanchett argues that racial and economic segregation are not age-old givens, but products of a decades-long process. Well after the Civil War, Charlotte’s whites and blacks, workers and business owners, all lived intermingled in a “salt-and-pepper” pattern. The rise of manufacturing enterprises in the 1880s and 1890s brought social and political upheaval, however, and the city began to sort out into a “checker-board” of distinct neighborhoods segregated by both race and class. When urban renewal and other federal funds became available in the mid-twentieth century, local leaders used the money to complete the sorting out process, creating a “sector” pattern in which wealthy whites increasingly lived on one side of town and blacks on the other.

Discussion Guide

(includes color maps omitted from some paperback printings of the book)

RedLining