Enduring loyalty to West Charlotte
In this excerpt, Love reflects on West Charlotte’s special place in her community. She does not think its unique character stems from its historic identity as a formerly segregated, all-black school. She does not try to work out where its appeal comes from, but opines that it remains alive because of the commitment of its alumni, who continue to work on its behalf.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Harriet Gentry Love, June 17, 1998. Interview K-0171. 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
PG: Well, I think that was pretty much kind of the things that I was interested in knowing about. Is there anything else that you think is important to know about the school or about your experience or anything?
HL: Well, I think overall my experience was a very rich one. I wouldn't give up not one minute of the good things or the bad things. I think that most people that went to West Charlotte, my husband for one, can name just about everybody that went to school there. I just think it's something that's a part of our lives, and we'll never forget it. Some of the most important years of our life, or my life anyway. And I think those years were very important for my children. And should I not be blessed with any grandchildren, I never have anyone else really that close to me to go to West Charlotte, I'll be okay. But if I was to have children and they were living here in Charlotte, I would certainly want them to at least try. I know they'd get a good education anywhere but to let you know how we feel about it, for this souvenir book we're doing for the luncheon for Pop Miller, we all did advertisements to pay for the book you'd put in an advertisement. I put in there something in reference to a long line of West Charlotte graduates, and I had all these people, my brothers and sisters and nieces and nephews and things that had graduated that had, my nephew Thurston Frazier is a lawyer and he finished Andover in Massachusetts. He went to prep school, but I had him in there the year that he did attend West Charlotte. Cause they tell me once attending, you're always an alumnus. We're very, very proud of that. Not just because it was a black school. It's just something that I think we pick up on that we want to continue as a family, have a legacy of some kind. I think it's sort of like. It's sort of like a fraternity or sorority. You know there's a bond there, and you kind of reach out to people and do what you can for them. If they need you, if someone was to write my class and say I'm in desperate need of even though they may not have been in my class, we would support them. We have done that in fact, one of our classmates mother and father's house burned down in Double Oaks. We had already made out our monies for the year, but we were able to give them a small check just to say maybe this can buy you some cosmetics or something that you need. But I think it's there; I think it will always be there. But the thing about it is, we don't ever hold it against classmates that don't come around. We keep trying to get them to come and be a part of. Keep trying to get in contact with them. Got a newsletter going out. It's just so much fun when you get together and talk about things, reminisce and see their children and their grandchildren and those kinds of things. If you're involved in a school, the school will survive. If you're not involved, the school will die. So it takes all of us to make it work for the community.