Barbara C. Steele oral history interview, 2004 April 1
Barbara Steele recounts her childhood and life in Brooklyn, a historic African American neighborhood in Charlotte, North Carolina, before it was torn down during urban renewal in the 1960s. She describes how close-knit and self-sufficient the community was. In particular, Mrs. Steele discusses the supportive atmosphere the teachers created at Second Ward High School, describing it as a second home. She also talks about the Queen City Classic, an annual football game between Second Ward and West Charlotte high schools that was a major social event for Charlotte's African American high school students and community. Mrs. Steele then discusses how urban renewal destroyed her neighborhood. She relates how residents fruitlessly spoke out against the project, and her family's failed legal battle with the city over adequate compensation for their homes.