Soul City was a failed attempt to build a majority black community in the heart of rural North Carolina. Conceived by civil rights leader Floyd B. McKissick, Soul City began with high expectations but ended in disappointment.
Located at the corner of Cucumber and Vine Street, in Mount Olive, North Carolina, the Mt. Olive Pickle Company has grown to be the largest independent pickle company in the United States.
Successful entrepreneur, businessman, and founder of Dudley Products, an African American- owned hair care company, Joe Louis Dudley and his wife, Eunice, began their business by mixing shampoo and hair care formula in their kitchen. His entrepreneurship created a needed product and employed hundreds.
Nineteen-year old Charlotte Hawkins Brown, an African American educator, started the Palmer Memorial Institute in Sedalia, North Carolina in 1902 to educate elementary and high school students in rural North Carolina. Named after Brown’s benefactor and friend, Alice Freedman Palmer, the Institute began in an old blacksmith shed.
Gilbert S. Waters built one of the first buggymobiles. Born in 1869, Waters grew up in New Bern around the buggy industry and worked in the family business, G. H. Waters Buggy and Carriage Factory.
The buggymobile, a horse-less contraption that used a gasoline engine, was considered expensive and silly when it was first invented. It soon became, however, one of the most innovative and popular transportation devices.
The Cotton Textile Institute (CTI) played a key role in implementing the New Deal in North Carolina. CTI, a national organization of textile manufacturers, was headquartered in Charlotte and included prominent North Carolina industrialists such as Charles Cannon and Ben Gossett.
The first actively cultivated grape in the United States, the Scuppernong grape was named the official State Fruit by the General Assembly in 2001. The scuppernong grape was named after the Scuppernong River that runs through Tyrell and Washington counties. In 2007, The North Carolina Governor’s office reported that North Carolina ranked tenth nationally in grape and wine production, an industry worth $813 million dollars a year in North Carolina
What started in 1913 as 500 pounds of unwanted Virginia peanuts has evolved into Lance Inc., with revenues steadily approaching one billion dollars. Phillip L. Lance, a Charlotte-based food distributor, ordered 500 pounds of peanuts directly from a planter with the intent to resale them to one of his customers. When Lance’s customer reneged on the peanut deal, Lance roasted the peanuts at his home and sold them on the streets of Charlotte for a nickel a bag instead of returning them to the planter. The home roasted peanuts quickly became popular among Charlotte residents, and Lance soon started producing peanut butter.
Born on September 6, 1863 to free yeoman farmer parents, Aaron McDuffie Moore used educational opportunities to improve his social condition and to better his community.