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Shannon Hughes, 46
20 Jul 2017
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Shannon Hughes, 46

He started up his own business with his friend Arthur called Topline Chemicals that produces chemicals for car washes. It has been operating for 2.5 years and they are proud of the progress. Shannon moved to the Wesley Heights neighborhood in 2007 and he became the president of the Wesley Heights Community Association. Previously living his life in Burlington, NC, he had learned the history of the land. In the past decade, most of the neighborhood has been gentrified but he disclosed the past of what Wesley Heights started off as in the 1920-30s as a white upper middle-class neighborhood. They raised their families in the 40s and 50s. Then after the breakdown of the Brooklyn section of Charlotte, many black residents moved into Wesley Heights, they raised families during the 60s and 70s. That time, use of drugs and acts of prostitution were running ramped through this neighborhood and others in Charlotte. In this case, Wesley Heights was “bad or dangerous” place to live so many people living there were quick to move away and the children who were being raised during those decades in Wesley Heights did not want to permanently live there either. Shannon said that the mentality of the residents was “my neighborhood has a bad reputation so I want to prove to others that I am better than it.”  From the 80s and on, that is when the neighborhood began to turn over and the people planned ways to get the drugs and negative forces out of their streets. Now the neighborhood is closer 50/50 black and white.

 

“The current mission of this neighborhood is to take care of older residents and inform them on gentrification. The saddest thing is that some people do not know the value of their house and people that try to buy houses will take advantage of them.”  “When neighborhoods are gentrified, they lose the soul of the neighborhood, they lose connections with each other.”

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