Our country has quite a history as reflected by its buildings, its people, and their cultures. We must never forget the Native Americans whose land this was before being taken by European settlers.
We look at structures and admire their beauty. They have a storied history reflective of where they are. In this case, the two hotels I point out thrived in Fayetteville, North Carolina–the south. They were not places where Colored-Negros-African Americans-Blacks were welcomed or permitted to stay or to dine until more modern times–the official end of the Jim Crow era.
For this town, as best I can determine, that was sometime during the summer of 1963. Myron B. Pitts of the Fayetteville Observer documents that time in his article, as does Chick Jacobs, also of the Fayetteville Observer, where he describes how Fayetteville battled civil rights in the summer of 1963. Mr. Jacobs’ article is paramount to understanding this town.
With Hotel Lafayette destroyed in 1995, I focused on finding the year the Prince Charles Hotel permitted blacks to stay in their rooms and/or dine in their restaurants. This article from the Fayetteville Observer Archives has revealing information and photographs.
As a native of Fayetteville, I remember places blacks could not shop, sleep, or dine. There were even separate water fountains, with one being marked “Colored” for folk like me.
You may wonder how black travelers survived in the early Twentieth Century. I’ll tell you, it was nothing like today or for that matter the mid-to-late ’60s.
Myron’s article tells us how it was used in this town. The page below from a Green-Book gives points of contact in Fayetteville.
Now, we are at a time when most of us are excited and happy for this city as it witnesses the renovation of Prince Charles Hotel and the building of the Fayetteville Woodpeckers Baseball Stadium. The hotel and the park will be beautiful and provide
Curious to me is what seems to be an absence of recorded facts about the segregated south–history. It seems that to say nothing means it did not happen. We must know our past and understand it to better experience the present and the future. I cannot be giddy about the glorious things I see without pondering where this all fits in my life and the lives of people like me…
Best to all!!!