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How we did the Kirkpatrick story

How we did this story

Information for “Breaking Through” came from Charlotte Observer and Charlotte News archives, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools documents, court documents and interviews with Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick and his family members, lawyer Julius Chambers and more than 20 members of Myers Park and Second Ward football teams. Reference materials also included a 2000 UNC Charlotte thesis by Charles Westmoreland Jr., “Strong legs running: The integration of the North Carolina-South Carolina Shrine Bowl” and “Bowl Full of Miracles,” a 1986 book by Walter J. Klein.

Reporters

Gary Schwab
gschwab@charlotteobserver.com
704-358-5120

David Scott
dscott@charlotteobserver.com
704-358-5889

Photographer/videographer

David Foster
dtfoster@charlotteobserver.com

Video voiceovers

Jonathan Jones jjones@charlotteobserver.com

Researcher

Maria David

Online producers

Tony Lone Fight tlonefight@charlotteobserver.com

Kathy Sheldon ksheldon@charlotteobserver.com

Design

Eric Edwards

Copy editors

Aaron Kidd, P.J. Shuey, Vann Trotter

Slideshows

Mark Hames

Editors

Cheryl Carpenter, Bert Fox, Mike Persinger, Harry Pickett

Part 1

In 1964, Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick was a sensation at all-black Second Ward High School. He makes a difficult choice to leave his high school teammates and play his senior year of football at predominantly white Myers Park.

Part 2

Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick gets swept up in a civil rights court battle that he did not choose. Racial tension in Charlotte builds, bombs explode and a city thought to be progressive finds itself in national headlines.

Part 3

Jimmie Lee Kirkpatrick came home to visit Charlotte 47 years after moving from Second Ward to Myers Park, and during two emotional reunions learned that both his black and white high school football teammates learned lasting lessons from his experience.

Game highlights, slideshows, videos at Charlotteobserver.com/myerspark

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Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

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The Charlotte Observer welcomes your comments on news of the day. The more voices engaged in conversation, the better for us all, but do keep it civil. Please refrain from profanity, obscenity, spam, name-calling or attacking others for their views.

Have a news tip? You can send it to a local news editor; email local@charlotteobserver.com to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Charlotte Observer.

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