• Jerod Reid

Fifty years later, Belmont aims to keep alive memory of all-black school

Charles Reid, grandson of Professor Reid stands by the historical marker of Reid High School. The African-American Reid School closed its doors for good 50 years ago, but former students keep its memory alive. T. ORTEGA GAINESOGAINES@CHARLOTTEOBSERVER.COM


When the all-black Reid High School campus closed for good 50 years ago, ninth-grader Charles Reid expected the empty buildings would serve other purposes.

Instead, they were quickly demolished. Left behind were only a few bricks, symbols of a beloved educational institution that left its mark on a community’s heart.

“We had no opportunity to grieve,” said Reid, 64, of Belmont, grandson of the school’s founder, professor Charles Jesse Bynum Reid. “Although the school closed there was a smooth transition to Belmont High. There are still some questions, but it had to be to go forward for the end of segregation.”

The site where the school once stood is now Belmont’s Reid Park, a popular recreational area for some, a place that stirs many memories for others.

This year, the 50th anniversary of Reid School’s closing, the focus on keeping its story alive will take many forms.

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