Vernard Thompson oral history interview, 2006 December 2
Vernard Thompson recounts his early life growing up in Charlotte's Third Ward neighborhood and life in the city's African American community during segregation. He discusses his childhood, his experiences attending segregated schools during the 1950s and 1960s, and the role sports played in his community. In particular, he describes the popular annual Queen City Classic football game played between Second Ward and West Charlotte High Schools and his own involvement in summer baseball leagues. Mr. Thompson describes the effects segregation had on his neighborhood and the disparity between resources provided to Charlotte's white and black schools, as well as tension between the African American community and law enforcement. He also discusses his time in the military during the Vietnam War. Mr. Thompson concludes by reflecting on how the city and the African American community have both changed in the years following integration and urban renewal.