About this Project
The Brooklyn Oral History Project grew out of Dr. Karen Flint’s “Oral History and Memory ” class at University of North Carolina, Charlotte with two sets of graduate students in 2004 and 2007. The goals of the course were to learn the practice of oral history, but also to preserve the memories of every-day life in the Brooklyn neighborhood between the 1950s and 70s. We were particularly interested in the social, cultural, and economic aspects of this popular Charlotte community and wanted to determine how “urban renewal” impacted it. Specifically, we sought to understand why the area was targeted, the process of negotiation between city councilors and the local community regarding removal and property compensation, and how various stakeholders understood its projected outcomes. While the majority of persons interviewed lived, recreated, or attended church or school in Brooklyn, the class also sought the voices of policy-makers involved in the decision to target Brooklyn. While most of the interviews are posted, a handful still require a waiver form. All interviews should have a “tape log,” but students only had to transcribe one interview. Some of the interviews reflect the students’ learning curve, this included switching on the recorder after the interview started, asking leading questions, or not asking enough questions. While this can sometimes be frustrating to the listener, a lot of information can still be gleaned, and it has also made the site a very useful learning tool.
All interviews will eventually be transcribed and archived as a part of the Goldmine Repository at the J. Murrey Atkins Library at UNCC.