#159 The History of Charlotte, NC w/ Thomas Hanchett & Pam Kelley (Recorded Live at the McGlohon Theater in Charlotte, NC)


Charlotte, NC has grown tremendously in the last half-century, yet it still lacks a clear national identity. While many know it today for its professional sports franchises or its prominence as a banking hub, the city was once recognized for its leadership in school integration following the 1971 Supreme Court ruling in Swann vs Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education. Bob and Ben both spent pivotal years of their lives in the Queen City, so they dedicated the first portion of RTN Live in Charlotte to a conversation on the city and its history with two people who know it best: historian Tom Hanchett & journalist Pam Kelley.

Dr. Thomas Hanchett served as Staff Historian for 16 years at Levine Museum where he curated the permanent exhibition Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers (named best in the Southeast by the South East Museums Conference), and a string of national-award-winning temporary exhibitions including COURAGE about the Carolina roots of the Brown v Board Civil Rights case. The second edition of his book, Sorting Out the New South City: Race, Class & Urban Development in Charlotte, 1875-1975 (UNC Press) will be available for purchase on February 3rd, 2020 (the very same day this episode launches!).

Pam Kelley is a freelance journalist who spent 35 years covering Charlotte for The Charlotte Observer. Her book Money Rock: A Family’s Story of Cocaine, Race, and Ambition in the New South (New Press, 2018) tells Charlotte’s history through the life of Belton Lamont Platt, aka Money Rock, who went from one of Charlotte’s most successful cocaine dealers to a redeemed man who now inspires others to change. “Money Rock is a deeply American story, one that will leave readers reflecting on the near impossibility of making lasting change, in our lives and as a society, until we reckon with the sins of our past.”

Our show opens with a song by musical guest David Childers, whose new album Interstate Lullaby is now available streaming or through his website- www.DavidChilders.com.