West Charlotte activities generate excitement
Black recalls catching West Charlotte spirit when, as a middle-school student, he attended the high school's football games. The marching band was an integral part of West Charlotte's aura, and while Black thinks it's "been going downhill" since the departure of its director, he is optimistic for its future. This excerpt demonstrates how West Charlotte extends itself into its community, but also the fragility of that effort.
Citing this Excerpt
Oral History Interview with Jeff Black, March 29, 1999. Interview K-0276. 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: What were your thoughts upon getting ready to come to West Charlotte?
JB: Oh, gosh. I just expected it to be a whole lot bigger. West Charlotte was looked upon by all the other high schools, by everybody as, gosh, West Charlotte is the hippest school you can go to. We used to go to the football games when I was in eighth and ninth grade. The band and everybody just seemed to have so much school spirit. It’s like, “Man, I’m going to be a part of West Charlotte. I’m going to be part of the huge football team.” They were at the top of everything. I think that I just was really, really excited to come.
PG: When you got here did it meet your expectations?
JB: I’d say it did in some aspects, and it didn’t at other times. I’d still say tenth grade was probably my favorite year. I was in the marching band, and the marching band has always been really, really good here. It seemed like it sort of fell off my junior year and has been going down hill since, unfortunately.
PG: Didn’t the band director retire? Is that right?
JB: Um-hum. Mr. Davenport. He stayed tenth grade year, and then he left after that. A big part of West Charlotte left with that, just because the new people that were coming in hadn’t had all the experience he had, and didn’t have all the spirit, and didn’t know what West Charlotte was really about. It seems like some of the pride sort of slipped from there, but I feel they’re coming back.