WSOC special program: Talking about race and money

CHARLOTTE — This weekend, 156 years ago, the last enslaved Black Americans learned they were free.

Juneteenth has been a day of celebration in Charlotte dating back decades, and while it’s officially recognized by most states -- including the Carolinas -- many say the legacy of slavery still runs deep.

“To be completely honest with you, it’s part of the systemic racism we experience, here and throughout the country,” Ron Leeper of RJ Leeper Construction said.

In housing, employment and building wealth for future generations.

“It’s kind of sad and disappointing that just because of my skin color, I have to do different, do harder and better -- I have to do 110%,” 11-year-old Leo Ortiz II said.

Disparities exist for minority families in Charlotte.

“The thing we need to change is racial attitudes,” said Hugh McColl, former Bank of America chairman.

We’re looking into ‘why’ that is -- what’s being done to close those gaps.

“I think the more we make awareness about it, Charlotte has always done the right thing,” said James Mitchell.

>> As people celebrate Juneteenth, watch the video at the top of the page as we hear from some who say the legacy of slavery still runs deep.

(WATCH BELOW: Black homebuyers face huge gap in homeownership rate)