Meeting Sheds Light on Charlottesville's Black Communities
While Vinegar Hill may be Charlottesville's most talked about black neighborhood, speakers at a NAACP meeting shed light on some of the other communities.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -
Vinegar Hill May be Charlottesville’s most talked about black neighborhood, but a speaker at the Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP’s monthly meeting told a crowd the story doesn’t end there.
The NAACP says Vinegar Hill was, without a doubt, an important, influential part of town, but there are a host of other communities. Some of these communities are still in existence and others been given different names.
"People coming to Charlottesville are told about Vinegar, but rarely do they hear about other neighborhoods,” said Maxine Holland, guest speaker.
From the late 1800's to the mid 1900's, African-Americans were buying property throughout the city of Charlottesville. That included Vinegar Hill.
“It was a prominent community, but it doesn't define the black community,” said M. Rick Turner, Albemarle-Charlottesville NAACP president.
Vinegar Hill was considered the business section of town - more than 50 families resided in the community, but it was just one of many.
“A lot of people were not even aware that there were places like Gospel Hill, that there were places like Lincoln Heights, or that there were places like the Flats,” said Holland.
Holland shared stories of neighborhoods such as Lincoln Heights, Castile Hill, and Gospel Hill. People shared experiences growing up in these communities. They describe neighborhoods where people of all professions and backgrounds resided.
“Education of the diversity of the city and where people come from, and where people were born and raised,” Turner said.
Speakers say gentrification has changed the dynamics of many of these communities. Some of these neighborhoods are still in existence, but were given new names. Others, like Vinegar Hill, were demolished and rebuilt over time.