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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with John Love, February 17, 1999. Interview K-0172. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

Love at West Charlotte High School

Love thinks that love is at the core of West Charlotte High School's unique identity. Like many West Charlotte alumni, he looks back on his experience at the school with a degree of reverence, and recalls a deep sense of belonging that nurtures the human spirit.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with John Love, February 17, 1999. Interview K-0172. 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 have asked you about many things, and you have been very gracious to speak to all of my questions. Is there anything that is important about West Charlotte and your experience at West Charlotte that we haven’t talked about? JL: I guess the most important thing about West Charlotte and my experience of West Charlotte is, and I think I hit on it in the very beginning, is that for all human beings, whether it’s high school or whether it’s a club, or whether it’s some organization you’re a part of, or whatever, the bottom line for me, it always comes down to, for human beings and us on the planet, it always comes down to love. And feeling loved, and one’s capacity for love, and one’s capacity to express love and give love and share love. And when we use words like dignity, respect, community, all of that stuff, it’s really about love. It’s about love and belonging, and feeling like you belong to something, and feeling like you’re a part of something, that’s about love. When people talk about patriotism in America it’s about feeling as if you belong. Now, when you feel as if you belong, as if you have a reason for being there, you feel protected, and you feel encouraged, thriving, existing, living vibrantly, you feel encouraged to do that. And that’s what I think the legacy or history of West Charlotte provided for so many people. And while that’s big and specific for those people and for West Charlotte, it’s just one example of how that can happen in so many other different ways in the human drama, if you will. So simultaneously it’s common and uncommon. And it’s not about the building, or it’s not just about the building or the campus of West Charlotte. It’s not just about the community. It’s not just about the fact that it was a bunch of black people. It’s not just about any of that. Those are particulars and those are details of something at the core. And at the core was, and why it’s so special is that you have evidence of people belonging to something, and being a part of something, and not having to make excuses for it, and you can see how the human spirit thrives off of that. And that’s basically it.