Charlotte has grown in every census since the eve of the Civil War, usually by at least a third. From 2000 to 2010, the city added more than 190,000 people, its population increasing by 35 percent. Some of this was a result of liberal annexation laws that allowed the city to expand. The city's minorities also became the majority, as the white population dropped to 45 percent, according to the U.S. Census.
Race relations have also been critical to the city's growth. Business leaders encouraged people not to fight court-ordered integration. When the U.S. Supreme Court ruled against Charlotte schools and forced busing, the city accepted the change without violent protests.
The city elected Harvey Gantt, the man who integrated Clemson University in South Carolina, as its mayor in the 1980s. But in meetings with business leaders, he would often be the only black person in the room; he later lost two bids to unseat then-U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms. Even today, many of the movers and shakers at the banks are white.
David Taylor, who is CEO of the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture, thinks Charlotte's current mayor and its second black leader, Anthony Foxx, will do more for Charlotte's minorities."The city has made sure that an African-American can make it to the table. Now I think we could use more diversity at that table. And I think we're getting there," Taylor said. Religion also holds a special place in Charlotte. Convention goers landing at the airport will first get on the Billy Graham Parkway to get to the convention hall. But religion doesn't dominate the city like it does in a lot of Southern towns with a strong Baptist presence. "Charlotte is a little different from most other Southern cities because it has a strong Presbyterian base," Goldfield said.
Select the service that is right for you!COMPARE ALL SERVICES
Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.
- $2.5+ million portfolio
- Large-cap and dividend focus
- Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
- Weekly roundups
Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.
- Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
- Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
- A custom stock screener
- Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.
- Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
- Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
- Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.
- Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
- Intraday commentary & news
- Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.
- 100+ monthly options trading ideas
- Actionable options commentary & news
- Real-time trading community
- Options TV