Qcitymetro.com 2018 year in review, including Battle of the Bands, Charlotte Women's March and 'SouthPark Susan.'

As we get ready to close out 2018, we’re looking back at eight local stories that had readers talking.

‘I’m white and I make $125,000 a year,’ says #SouthParkSusan in viral video

Susan Westwood, aka SouthPark Susan, became a household name after her racially charged video rant toward two Black women went viral in October. It was our most popular story of the year. “The video was disturbing yet hilarious at the same time,” Sherri Bain commented on our Facebook page.

Although it seemed like justice against white privilege was served (Susan was arrested and lost that $125K job), this incident brought up more serious conversations about minorities in (assumed) white spaces and weaponizing the police against Black people (one of her misdemeanor charges was for misusing the 911 system).

Susan Westwood turned herself into authorities a week after video went viral of her racial rant against two Black women in south Charlotte. Photo via CMPD

Qcitymetro has a new managing editor, and that’s exciting

Glenn left some pretty big shoes to fill when I stepped in as managing editor back in August. But since then, Qcitymetro has grown in many areas including increased exposure for Black-owned businesses and more interest from millennials. As Charlotte keeps growing and change continues in the local news landscape, it’s more important than ever that there are spaces representing perspectives from those in our community.

31 signs you’re a native Charlottean: Black edition

While city officials tote the number of people moving into Charlotte each day, native Charlotteans remember a time predating the light rail, the multitude of breweries and the bevy of luxury apartments. In March, another local outlet published a nostalgic list of “signs you’re a native Charlottean,” but it missed the mark for many of our readers.  Contributor Brandi Williams asked her fellow unicorns for memories which resulted in “31 signs you’re a native Charlottean: Black edition.” A tale of two Charlottes indeed.

This building on Beatties Ford Road once housed McDonald’s Cafeteria, a destination for native Charlotteans and visitors traveling through. Photo via Brandi Williams
This building on Beatties Ford Road once housed McDonald’s Cafeteria, a destination for native Charlotteans and visitors traveling through. Photo via Brandi Williams

Queen City Battle of the Bands left Charlotte; does anyone care?

In September, we reported the Queen City Battle of the Bands left Charlotte for a new start in Houston in 2019. For a city with a healthy HBCU culture, the news went relatively under the radar. Event organizers attempted to secure a larger venue before pulling the plug in Charlotte, but they couldn’t make a deal happen. Recognizing the void, HBCU Halftime hosted its first Big HBCU Classic Battle of the Bands. It was a sold-out event, which spoke volumes about the appetite for the HBCU experience.

8 moments in Charlotte’s Black history as we celebrate its 250th birthday

It was all the fanfare on Dec. 3 as we said Happy Birthday, Charlotte! For the history buffs and inquiring minds, we shared eight occasions relevant to the Black experience since the city was founded.

RNC 2020 organizers commit to Black business inclusion

Over the summer, Charlotte was officially selected to host the 2020 Republican National Convention among much controversy. Expect to hear more buzz about preparations for the GOP convention, including how organizers plan to include diversity in economic opportunities. Charlotte City Council member James Mitchell is spearheading efforts with a group of community leaders to develop a comprehensive Black business directory to present to the convention’s host committee. Stay tuned to see how it plays out.

Real ID is coming: What you should know before the deadline hits

There’s much talk now about voter ID, but back in June we reported about N.C. Real ID — the government-issued driver’s license, or identification card, with a gold star. While the ID is optional now, beginning Oct. 1, 2020, federal agencies will enforce tougher security standards at airport check-ins, federal buildings and military bases; those without N.C. Real ID will require additional documentation before access is granted.

Photo credit: Qcitymetro

Where were all the Black women at the Charlotte Women’s March?

“…not to say women of color were absent from the march; they simply weren’t there in numbers anywhere near their population percentages,” said Qcitymetro publisher Glenn Burkins. An estimated 5,000 people marched from First Ward Park to Romare Bearden Park during the second annual Charlotte Women’s March, yet Black women were notably underrepresented. Will more decide to attend this year’s Women United March on Jan. 26?

Charlotte Women’s March: An estimated 5,000 people marched trough uptown Charlotte on Saturday, January 20, 2018 in support of gender equality and to voice opposition to President Donald Trump. Various speakers addressed the crowd for two hours before the throng marched from First Ward Park to Romare Bearden Park. Photo credit: Qcitymetro.com

Katrina Louis is managing editor of qcitymetro.com who can always find something to do in Charlotte. She’s an offline hustler (and has the shirt to prove it) but when online, find her on Instagram and Twitter.

Read More

Katrina covers Charlotte's Black business scene for QCity Metro. She's a Miami transplant, pescatarian and lover of the arts. She earned a public relations degree from the University of Florida. Got a...