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JCSU Launches Anthology Giving Voice to Charlotte’s West Side


Charlotte, NC (September 2, 2014) - Johnson C. Smith University has published Let There be Light: Exploring How Charlotte’s Historic West End Is Shaping a New South, a ground-breaking anthology featuring essays written by some of Charlotte’s most prominent scholars, journalists and civic leaders including: JCSU President Dr. Ronald Carter, Tom Hanchett, historian of the Levine Museum of the New South, Robin Emmons, founder of Sow Much Good and Mary Newsom, journalist and associate director for UNC Charlotte’s Urban and Regional Affairs. The 167-page anthology illuminates a range of controversial issues surrounding Charlotte’s historic west end, home of the nearly 150-year-old Johnson C. Smith University.

Let There Be Light invites readers into a new era of civic engagement by capturing many of Charlotte’s most spirited conversations, whether inside the Tuesday Morning Breakfast Forum, the racially-heated Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board meetings, or the gentrifying neighborhoods on the city’s west side. Edited by award-winning journalist and author Ron Stodghill, the work is a bold anthology that traverses the community’s historical triumphs while pointing the way to its future.

Let There Be Light articulates JCSU President Ronald L. Carter’s unfolding vision to revitalize one of Charlotte’s long-neglected communities. “. . . I see this volume as merely the initial effort in a multi-volume series,” writes Dr. Ronald Carter in the book’s foreword. “I also see this and future books a recording of the present so that future generations can understand the social, political, and economic factors that shaped their community and their lives.”

Its title inspired by the university’s Latin motto, Sit Lux, Let There Be Light kicks-off a series of round table discussions on several of the book’s topics, including: neighborhood gentrification, nutritional disparities, education and public health.

Media and the community may attend an official book launch on September 12, 2014 from 10:00 a.m. - 11:00 a.m. at the JCSU Rotunda in the Student Union. On September 13, 2014 JCSU will host the 4th Annual Indaba at the university’s Grimes Lounge, which will feature a community roundtable that addresses issues raised in the anthology. Let There Be Light is available KindleNook and iPad formats.

About Johnson C. Smith University

Founded in 1867, Johnson C. Smith University is an independent, close-knit urban university located in Charlotte, N.C. It has a growing national reputation for integrating the liberal arts with business, the sciences and technology in ways that empower tomorrow’s diverse entrepreneurial citizens and leaders. Offering 22 fields of study to more than 1,300 students from a variety of ethnic, socioeconomic and geographic backgrounds, the university’s excellent academic programs focus on servant leadership, civic engagement and global responsibility. For more information about JCSU, visit or follow the university on social media sites Facebook , TwitterYouTubeLinkedIn and Pinterest.

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