Century-old school structure remains part of Charlotte’s Cherry neighborhood

Century-old school structure remains part of Charlotte’s Cherry neighborhood

CHARLOTTE (QUEEN CITY NEWS) – The stone carving above the doors proudly proclaimed when the Morgan School in the Cherry neighborhood in Charlotte was built.

Though the boarded-up windows may suggest it’s been forgotten after 99 years, that’s far from the truth.

“I think any place you love is worth saving,” said Barbara Rainey.

Barbara knows every corner and street in the Cherry neighborhood in Charlotte.

“I know them almost like I know my name,” said Barbara.

This is where her heart is. It’s where she grew up and where she went to school.

“Because of that school, it’s part of us,” said Yvonne Bittle. “That’s where our children went to school, where our friends went to school.”

In 1925, the Morgan School was built to serve the African American community of Cherry. It closed when schools were integrated in 1968. So, Cherry lost its school and the fear was, that they’d lose their neighborhood too like so many other historic Black neighborhoods in Charlotte.

“We were going to be next. The Cherry Community would have been text to Second Ward, but we fought it,” said Yvonne.

Yvonne said, she’s always been a fighter and she has decades of proof to show for it.

“We still won’t give up, we don’t have that kind of bones in us,” said Yvonne.

She’s the only founding member left of the Cherry Community Organization. Starting in the 1960s, friends and neighbors got together and stood up to the city. They fought to keep Cherry, Cherry.

Historic Mount Airy high school being brought back to life

And they won.

“All of us, we looked out for each other. There was no ‘little you’ and big I,” said Yvonne. “We worked together and got through it.”

The Morgan School is their current project. Not only did they save it, but they will be fixing it up and turning it into a cultural heritage and community center.

“I’m glad to be a part of it, you want to be a part of something that’s good, something that’s meaningful,” said Barbara.

Just like the school, they will stay and proudly show off what they stand for.

“We will be here,” said Yvonne. “We are not going anywhere.”

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