Carson H. Beckwith oral history interview, 2006 December 1
In this interview, Carson Beckwith recounts his life and career as a cosmetologist in Charlotte, North Carolina. Mr. Beckwith discusses his upbringing in rural Craven County, North Carolina, his experiences while attending school at the North Carolina College of Negroes (now North Carolina Central University), and his move to Charlotte in 1939 with his wife. He highlights his journey to New York City in the 1930s to learn cosmetology, and discusses how he opened the first cosmetology school for African Americans in the Charlotte region during the 1940s, Bands Beauty College. Mr. Beckwith states that he also founded the Charlotte Negro Chamber of Commerce with a fellow cosmetologist, Ned Davis. In addition, Mr. Beckwith discusses the civil rights movement in Charlotte and shares reflections on the city's African American community, particularly in his neighborhood, McCrory Heights.