Charlotte library removes name of white supremacist from branch

Charlotte library removes name of white supremacist from branch
Charlotte Mecklenburg Library worked closely with the Harris family, who in 1989 generously donated the land on which the Morrison Regional Library sits, to re-name the branch the SouthPark Regional Library. (Source: Charlotte Mecklenburg Library)

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - Officials say a Charlotte library will remove the name of a former state governor from one of its branches because of his ties to white supremacy.

On Oct. 19, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library announced it is making changes within its system to align with its commitment to expanding equity, diversity and inclusion.

Among the changes is the renaming of Morrison Regional Library to SouthPark Regional Library.

“Systemic racism and inequity have no place in public libraries other than as recorded history to remind us how we got to this moment in time,” said Charlotte Mecklenburg Library CEO Lee Keesler. “As a trusted institution, we are committed to providing an inclusive and welcoming environment for everyone in our community.”

Officials say the Library Board of Trustees took immediate action in approving the priority removal, relocation or renaming of 10 commemorations throughout the system whose history, meaning or presence does not align with the Library’s current position on racism and inequity.

Charlotte Mecklenburg Library officials say they worked closely with the Harris family, who in 1989 donated the land on which the Morrison Regional Library sits, to re-name the branch the SouthPark Regional Library.

The library branch was originally named in honor of their grandfather, Governor Cameron A. Morrison.

Library officials said the change was recommended because of Morrison’s racist pass as a leader of the “Red Shirts,” a militant arm of the Democratic Party that kept black voters from going to the polls.

“We remain as committed to building a stronger Charlotte-Mecklenburg today as we did when we gifted land more than 30 years ago for a needed library,” said Johnny Harris. “Our family and Charlotte Mecklenburg Library share a mutual pride in strengthening our community, and we recognize that our libraries are a wonderful benefit to county residents.”

Over the coming months, signage at the branch location and across all Library materials will be updated to reflect the new name of SouthPark Regional Library, and the Library staff will continue to remove and relocate collectibles throughout the system as recommended by the audit.

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