Myers Street School was the oldest black school in Charlotte. It began in an old tobacco barn on 5th Street in 1882. The students and faculty moved into a new wood-frame building in 1887, located on land that had belonged to the Myers family. A new brick building followed in 1931. In the late 1940s, Myers Street was the largest elementary school for black children in North Carolina. The school closed in the late 1960s as part of the city’s integration plan, and the building was torn down.
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African American Album 2 - Heritage - Schools
Morgan Elementary School was built in 1925 in the Cherry neighborhood, one of the first suburbs developed for black families. The school was closed in the late 1960s as part of the school system’s integration plan. It was reopened by the school system in 1973 and is now a school for emotionally disturbed adolescents.
Marie G. Davis School was originally an elementary school for black children on the south side of town. It was named for a former teacher. After integration, the school became a middle school. The Marie G. Davis campus presently includes the buildings of the York Road High School, a formerly all-black high school.
Isabella Wyche School served the children of uptown’s Third Ward community. It was named for a former teacher. When the city and county schools consolidated in 1960, Isabella Wyche School was converted into administrative offices and eventually torn down.
Fairview School served elementary students from the communities surrounding the Greenville neighborhood. As part of the city’s integration plan, Fairview was abandoned around 1968 and eventually torn down.
Double Oaks School was built in the early 1950s to serve Double Oaks and the surrounding communities. Because of the building’s unique design, it won an architectural award soon after it was completed. At its peak, Double Oaks had over 750 students. The school was closed in 1981 and converted into a community center. In 1997, the school reopened as a preschool for four-year olds.
Billingsville School was built in 1927 and was named for Sam Billings, who donated the land where the school stands. The school was one of Mecklenburg County’s 26 Rosenwald schools, which were all-black schools built with the help of money donated by philanthropist Julius Rosenwald. It was the first county school to become a city school through annexation. It still operates today as Billingsville Montessori School.
Biddleville School was one of Charlotte’s all-black schools. It served the children of the Beatties Ford Road/Johnson C. Smith University area. In 1964, James Swann was assigned to Biddleville School. His parents wanted him to attend Seversville School, an all-white school that was closer and better equipped. This led to the landmark legal case Swann v. the Board of Education that eventually caused the court-ordered integration of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school system.
Alexander Street School was opened around 1918 to serve the children of the uptown neighborhood of First Ward. The school was closed in 1968 and converted into the Alexander Street Neighborhood Center, run by the City of Charlotte.
Click here to see the 5th grade class of 1930 and the 1935 school rhythm band.
From left to right, seated, are: J. E. Grisby, Second Ward High; C. L. Blake, West Charlotte High; Mrs. Cordelia E. Stiles, supervisor; W. G. Byers, Fairview Elementary; Mrs. Gwendolyn Cunningham, Double Oaks Elementary; and C. E. Moreland, Northwest Junior High.