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Everything You Need to Know About Soul City, NC

02/10/2017 at 9:12 | Pierra Javon // Freelance Writer

It’s hard to imagine there once was a city in the south that most southerners probably never heard of.  Soul City, North Carolina was a proposed community to be managed by African Americans in 1969.

Here’s everything you need to know about the city that almost was:

Who’s Idea Was It?

Floyd McKissick, a civil rights activist was the master mind behind this southern paradise.  McKissick, director of the Congress of Racial Equality, planned to build soul City on 5,000 acres outside of Raleigh, NC.

 

Who Was Paying For It?

During his last days in office, President Lyndon B. Johnson approved the $14 mil funding of Soul City. The following president, President Nixon, also supported the building of this town. According to The Guardian, McKissick foresaw a town that would grow to 44,000 residents by 2004.

 

Why Name it “Soul City”?

The name “Soul City” was not meant to imply that this city was only for blacks. In fact this city was intended to be multiracial, but managed by black people. The city would include a county wide high school, a fire department, recreational buildings, shopping centers, water purification and even land to grow food.

In 1973, 4 years after McKissick’s initial proposal, Soul City broke ground and began construction. A few houses went up and blacks from up north began to relocate. In addition to the houses, a water plant and health clinic was also built.

 

 

What Went Wrong?

The 1974 US oil crisis caused pricing on construction to double and Nixon’s Watergate scandal removed him from office leaving the city with little to no funding. McKissick was accused of mishandling funds, which after an audit proved to be false, but by that time it was too late. Funding was ultimately pulled from the project in 1979 and Soul City’s ownership was auctioned off for $1.5mil.

 

Soul City was birthed from a place of good intentions and may have been an idea before it’s time. Though it was a plan short lived, it is still a feat that many don’t know was attempted.  In what is now Mason, North Carolina, you can still see the Soul City sign for anybody that wants to visit a piece of history. The story of Soul City may inspire someone to make their own Soul City

Check out “Soul City” the documentary to learn more, and click here  to see the trailer!

 

Pierra Javon…I’m not perfect and I don’t feel like faking it.

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