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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Frederick Douglas Alexander, April 1, 1975. Interview B-0065. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Charlotte's consolidation efforts threatened the white political elite

Alexander argues that the consolidation of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County would broaden the representative base along class and racial lines, which threatened the largely white elite's status. As a result, the city's consolidation efforts were defeated.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Frederick Douglas Alexander, April 1, 1975. Interview B-0065. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

MOYE:
The argument was made by some that a lot of times consolidation is an effort by the white power structure or whatever, seeing an increasing black population in the city, perhaps to dilute the strength of that black vote. Was that not the case in Charlotte?
FREDERICK DOUGLAS ALEXANDER:
I would think that that was a part of the thinking through some of our citizenry, and you must recognize that. That was a strong factor in its defeat. I would not say that was the main factor in its defeat, but certainly it was a strong factor in its defeat. Not that it would afford more black representation solely, but it would afford more general representation. It would dilute what had been.
MOYE:
You see as much of a class sort of...
FREDERICK DOUGLAS ALEXANDER:
Exactly. Exactly. You must understand that. The problem of increased black representation is to be there. Some of it that district representation is bad because it will bring a weakened structure into the government. Which they infer from that is that you will get representatives from some sections of your community who do not have the capacity to govern. This is their thinking. Well, I've seen some of all kinds of representatives in government regardless of where they come from. I just can't subscribe to the philosophy that district representation gives you bad government.