CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A landmark day and a memorable march as dozens of Charlotteans retrace the steps others took 50 years ago to stand up against segregation.
It was the march that put Charlotte on the forefront of de-segregation. Both then and now, they marched from Johnson C. Smith University to the historic courthouse in uptown.
Elisha Minter is marching again.
She leads a group of a few dozen in song as they march with her.
“It’s bringing back memories from when I was young and in college and fighting for freedom and the rights of African Americans and people all over,” she says.
This time she walks to remind people of the journey.
“I’m very familiar with sitting in the balconies of movie theaters. I’m very familiar with not being able to do other things...we were not allowed to do it, that was the most painful thing, not being allowed to do things,” she remembers.
Monday’s march was meant to mark 50 years since Dr. Reginald Hawkins walked the same route, from Johnson C. Smith University to the courthouse demanding desegregation in Charlotte.
The march led to desegregation in Charlotte a year before the Civil Rights Act required it.
“I remember that time. I remember sitting at segregated counters and not being allowed to go in, and we had separate quarters and we had separate areas. Yes, I remember all those things.”
Now she wants others to remember.
“It’s important for our children to know we have to do these types of things in order to keep hope alive, to keep the memory alive of what our ancestors went through to get us to where we are now.”