St. Charles VA

Hearts of Gold

Brought to us by Margaret Ecker and others involved in its 2013 production, this special collection of insights from several Student Health Coalition figureheads in the 1970s features Bill Dow, Bill Corr, Carolyn Burr, Dal Macon, and Marie Cirillo–among many more. Each of them reflects on the impetus behind the SHC’s work, its guiding principles, …

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First integrated band in St. Charles, VA: Smith Carson and the Black and White Melody Boys

Ron Carson shares about his grandfather’s, Smith Carson, first integrated band in the area: the Black and White Melody Boys. Their legacy throughout the South includes having played with Louis Armstrong and Elvis Presley.   Full footage of Ron Carson’s tour of the African American Cultural Center.

The renaming of “Negro Head Rock”

Ron Carson showcases an old check with an emblem of what used to be called “Negro Head Rock” and shares the story about his grandmother’s 1968 petition to have it renamed. It’s now known as Stoneface Rock. Interestingly, former Student Health Coalition participants active with the clinic in St. Charles, Virginia recall having referred to …

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Post-Reconstruction African American migration and the St. Charles coal camps

Ron Carson details post-Reconstruction African American migration trends from cotton fields to coal camps in St. Charles, Virginia (including migration years later in the mid-20th century to northern urban centers for manufacturing jobs) and the impact on resulting black diaspora in area.   Full footage of Ron Carson’s tour of the African American Cultural Center.

Dr. Daniel Gabriel’s legacy in St. Charles, VA

Ron Carson discusses Dr. Daniel Gabriel, MD and his local legacy in African American healthcare as the only doctor who in the 1940s and 50s would see black patients.   Full footage of Ron Carson’s tour of the African American Cultural Center.

J. Thomas “Tom” John

I am a bit late in getting my bio in, best done in the earlier stages of pending dotage. I am originally from Laurinburg, N.C., a small farming and, then, textile community in the eastern part of the state. I attended Laurinburg HS and at one time was junior Rotarian of the month. Then to …

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Interview with Mary Herr by Jessie Wilkerson, May 19 2011, Southern Oral History Program, UNC Chapel Hill

Mary Herr was born in Springfield, Ill. in 1940. In 1978 she moved to Cherokee, N.C. where she has worked on many community development projects, primarily in legal aid services. Herr begins the interview by discussing her family history; a history of suicide on her mother’s side of the family; memories of growing up on …

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“I will always be grateful for the gifts that the work and the people of those summers gave to me.”

[Story contributed by Angela Carroll Healy, M.D.] Dear All, Seeing the videos and reading the memories of other Coalitioners has made me want to share what working with the Student Health Coalition meant to me. I was a Brooklyn girl, born and raised. I was a junior at New York University (in Manhattan—the farthest I’d …

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1976 St. Charles Health Clinic, VA

After the 1975 health fair In St. Charles, Virginia, the local health council worked tirelessly to build a permanent clinic. By 1976, that clinic had opened to the public. And over time, it grew into a network of 12 regional primary care clinics that serve over 20,000 people in rural southwestern Virginia. By a stroke …

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