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You Don't Say: 'Urban Renewal Made Renters Out Of The Community'

Hillary Tan
Sharp End Committee Chair James Whitt (left) spoke with Second Baptist Church Deacon Larry Monroe for this edition of 'You Don't Say.' The two spoke at the offices of REDI, at the site of the original Sharp End district.

In this conversation for KBIA’s “You Don’t Say” series about the black experience in Columbia – Sharp End Heritage Committee chair James Whitt speaks with Second Baptist Church deacon Larry Monroe. They talked about Monroe's memories of the sights and sounds of the historic Sharp End business district.

In the early 1950s in Columbia, the Sharp End district - located between Fifth and Sixth on Walnut - was the central gathering place for black business owners and the community. But with the advent of urban renewal, the city took over the Sharp End area and eventually dismantled it.

James Whitt first heard stories of about Sharp End in Sunday School from his teacher, Monroe. Whitt met with Monroe for this conversation at Columbia’s REDI offices, at the site of the original Sharp End district. They spoke about the effects of urban renewal and growing up on and around the Sharp End. 

You Don’t Say is a special project commissioned by the City of Columbia’s bicentennial Como200 task force. It’s co-produced by the Sharp End Heritage Committee and KBIA.

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