Conversations with Chandler's Historic Black Families: Charles Payne

Jan. 31, 2022
| by:
Voices of Chandler

CC Cantabrana, from the City of Chandler Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Division, is a guest host for this episode about the Payne family, one of Chandler’s historic Black families.

Charles Payne shares the story of his family, who moved to Chandler decades ago. Erica Maxwell, from the City of Chandler’s Human Relations Commission, sat down with Charles to talk about why his family moved to Arizona, what it was like to grow up here, and why Chandler is such a special place to him.  

Highlights from their conversation include:

  • Learn why many Black families, like the Paynes, moved to Arizona.
  • Charles talks about why, after their first stop in Eleven Mile Corner outside of Casa Grande, his family moved to Chandler.
  • In the midcentury, there were close ties between Black families in their Chandler neighborhood.  Mount Olive Baptist Church on Colorado Street was the center of the community.
  • Charles talks about how much he wanted to go to school and his transition from a school for Black children to Chandler schools in the early 50s.
  • And, hear how his brother made history, not just in Chandler, but in Arizona, too.

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