Bittersweet Legacy: The Black and White “Better Classes” in Charlotte, 1850-1910 by Janette Thomas Greenwood (review)

Bittersweet Legacy: The Black and White "Better Classes" in Charlotte, 1850-1910 by Janette Thomas Greenwood (University of North Carolina Press, 1994)

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Bittersweet Legacy: The Black and White “Better Classes” in Charlotte, 1850-1910 by Janette Thomas Greenwood (review)

by Frye Gaillard
Southern Cultures, Vol. 2, No. 1: Fall 1995

University of North Carolina Press, 1994

The history of race relations in the South has probably never seen a more bitter chapter than the period near the end of the nineteenth century when the promise of full freedom was snatched away from a generation that had worked so hard to earn it. Janette Thomas Greenwood tells that story in heartbreaking detail in this study of the New South city of Charlotte. Her broad themes may be familiar, but her particular understandings are not. They are provocative and fresh, a bittersweet account of lost possibilities that lay dormant in the South for more than sixty years.