‘I feel a sense of pride’: West Charlotte Coffee Shop Preserves Black History and Culture

CHARLOTTE, N.C. —   Kenya Aurgson is a barista at Archive, but for her it’s more than just a job. 

” It feels comfortable. It feels like I’m meant to be here and I feel like I belong and I feel like my whole existence  I’ve waited for something like this,” Aurgson said. 

 It’s  a one of a kind place that gives her a space to not only share coffee, but Black history and culture. 

” To immerse them into the culture that we’re creating here and to tell them why we’re doing these things and our vision and mission statement,” Aurgson said. 

 From the images on the wall of historical figures to black relics, owner Cheryse Terry said  she opened Archive six months ago as a way to preserve black history through collecting Black memories and stories. 

” Its important for us to continue those stories and continue the legacy in which we walk in just so we can build on it,” Terry said. 

The  shop is located on Beatties Ford Road which holds its own historical significance for the Black community in Charlotte. 

” Having Chatty Hattie, who is the first Black woman on the radio, who still lives in this neighborhood.  We have Rudean’s  who is a former restaurateur that started her business at 15 and knowing her business is right here on Beatties Ford Road I feel honored to walk alongside some of those legends,” Terry said. 

Part of Archive’s mission is connecting the past to the present, by creating a space for people to share memories and learn from their history. 

” It’s  the legacy that we’re breathing that as we interact with others and meet new people, but also the people that’s here that made a way for us to be in the space that we’re in,” Archive general manager Javarian Holley said. 

 It’s that connection Terry said  gives her a sense of identity and gives something back to the Charlotte community. 

” Just impacting my community in the little way that I can and just encouraging preservation is such a small part of a larger history, but I feel a sense of pride.”