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- Robert Smith Student Project on the Charlotte African American Community
- Mary Vaughn oral history interview, 2006 November 18
Mary Vaughn oral history interview, 2006 November 18
Mary Vaughn describes her experiences growing up in the segregated Charlotte neighborhood of Brooklyn and shares her opinions on social issues at the time of interview. She recalls the poor quality of the homes in her neighborhood and how her family was forced to relocate in the 1960s when the Brooklyn neighborhood was torn down during urban renewal. Ms. Vaughn explains how blacks faced discrimination during the 1950s and 1960s as they were prohibited from entering many public businesses, including restaurants and movie theaters. She also discusses important challenges faced by blacks at the time of the interview. Specifically, she states her opinion that unfair housing policies persisted in the 2000s, since urban revitalization was encouraging the gentrification of neighborhoods and pushing longtime residents out much as it did during urban renewal in the 1960s. Ms. Vaughn also describes how blacks in low wage jobs suffer because they have fewer financial resources and struggle to maintain their self-sufficiency. In addition, she discusses the negative influence of drugs on African American men, and her belief that drugs have led to increased violence and higher unemployment among young black men.