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State of Things
Tue September 4, 2012
King of Queen City
Legend has it that architect Harvey Gantt fell in love with Charlotte, NC the moment he laid eyes on the city he would come to lead. Gantt, a Democrat, served two terms as Charlotte’s first African-American mayor before running for U.S. Senate against Republican Jesse Helms.
His political battles against Helms were fraught with ruthless race-baiting tactics that ultimately earned Helms victory. Gantt was familiar with fighting racism; as a young civil rights activist, he led a sit-in in his hometown of Charleston, SC and sued to become the first black student admitted to Clemson University. Host Frank Stasio talks with Gantt about his life as a civil rights activist, a politician, an architect and a loyal supporter of Charlotte.