Wednesday February 18 | Changing Places in Charlotte

February 17, 2009 at 12:38 pm | Posted in Coming Up | 6 Comments

Join us for a conversation about how people in the Charlotte region are dealing with the growing cultural diversity and change due to the arrival of newcomers to the area. People are arriving daily from all parts of the world with their own traditions and cultures. We’ll discuss how Charlotte’s adapting.

Pamela Grundy – Exhibit Curator, Changing Places exhibit, Levine Museum
Jeff Michael – UNCC Charlotte Urban Institute
David Dunn – Vice Chancellor, University Affairs, UNC Charlotte
Emily Zimmern – President and CEO, Levine Museum

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  1. As a Charlotte native, I welcome all who want to be here. But I often find it easier to accept people from other countries than those from other parts of the US. They seem to have a better understanding of the concept of integration and adaptation. They don’t expect everything to be like where they came from. And thats all I will say because I’m not trying to start a fight, it would just be nice if some newcomers would look at themselves and see that they’re in a new place and try to adapt just a little. Thats what my ancestors did when they came to the area.

    And you’re correct, ‘maybe’ just might mean ‘no’ depending on the context. We pull to the side of the road and stop when a funeral procession comes by. We also like to wave to people in our neighborhood even if we don’t know them. And we like our Italian food cooked by Greeks.

  2. According to Pamela Grundy, Charlotte residents have been very accepting of immigrants, which is admirable. I wonder why, then, is there, seemingly, hostility toward the Northerners (a.k.a. Yankees) who have moved here. It is not unusual to read ‘letters to the editor’ where it is stated that if you don’t like some things about Charlotte then ‘Yankee Go Home!’ Certainly, there should be room to discuss issues of importance and opportunities for improvement.

  3. Jackson just illustrated my comment; case in point. Notice the hostility against people from other parts of the United States!

  4. I find it interesting that many of the people who once admirably participated in change in our community (the early desegregation of our schools and the attendant coming together of our community) are now fighting change in our schools—in fact many of these people are arguing for a return to past assignment policies and in the process being rather unwelcoming to those who bring new ideas to the table. I hope this exhibit will prod “old Charlotte” into recognizing that there is tremendous diversity throughout the county and that it’s no longer measured by black and white.

  5. Yes, I see a whole lot of hostility in what I wrote. Try reading it again.

  6. (Try this for frank constructive hostility.)
    I’m sure there are many domestic immigrants to Charlotte who find cultural and political resources lacking as compared to their cities of origin. Don’t mistake a bent-over place as new. It is true this is a more hierarchical culture and a more repressed populace than many other places. Low wages and long-lived terror do that to people. The natives are used obeying direction from corporate leadership and letting the upper middleclass have first dibbs on EVERYTHING. As big as it appears Charlotte often behaves as a monocultured one-horse town. The chainstore overlay went down easy like cheap carpet around here, no real resistance.

    When you try to organize something new, publicity is resisted and any attendees may sit there like bumps on a log waiting for you to lead the hokey-pokey. It’s funny how they look around to make sure the Big Man isn’t watching before they try anything new. They often have to get drunk to enjoy the boring events that seem to be preferred. It’s a wonder their PBS fundraising doesn’t show a week of enthusiastic envelope licking. One thing’s for sure, living in this intellectual desert makes the oases seem all the more sweet and precious.

    Keep trying immigrants, and things will gradually improve. Some of the natives will be claiming to be immigrants here in about 10 years.
    Charlotte can overcome its fascist past. See… there goes the Duke Power mayor, right out of office. It’s not like Guatemala at all anymore.

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