Title: Oral History Interview with Harvey B. Gantt, January 6, 1986. Interview C-0008.
Interviewer: Haessly, Lynn
Interviewee: Gantt, Harvey B.
Subjects: North Carolina--Politics and government Southern States--Race relations African American politicians--North Carolina
Abstract: Architect and politician Harvey Gantt describes his ascent from a childhood in segregated Charleston, South Carolina, to becoming the first black mayor of Charlotte, North Carolina. Along the way, Gantt led sit-ins in Charleston, integrated Clemson University, and became a successful architect in Charlotte. While he describes his career path, Gantt discusses civil rights in the American South. As a southerner, he sees the accomplishments of the civil rights movement as dramatic; as a member of the black middle class, he leans toward negotiation rather than revolt. After the movement's major successes, while northern activists were pushing for more change, Gantt sought to take advantage of his new opportunities. He sees his success both resulting from and contributing to civil rights for African Americans.