This August 10, 1983 handwritten letter from Clarence “Curly” Harris to Greensboro City Manager Tom Osborne, introduces Osborne to Harris' perspectives on the Greensboro Woolworth sit-ins and the demise of the downtown retail trade from Harris' perspective as manager of the Woolworth store. In this letter Harris describes the effects of the sit-ins, the Woolworth operation in general, as well as later planning and development decisions made by the city of Greensboro that impacted his store.
Harris notes that the Greensboro Woolworth store was one of the top stores in the chain in 1960, and that, by contract, he was "in complete control" of the store. He details losses in sales and profit due to the sit-ins, and goes on to discuss the impact of the adjacent city-county governmental center's construction in 1969 and of the increasing lack of free parking in the central business district. Harris complains that the city favored office development over retail downtown, leading to decay there. He closes by stating that Greensboro is not an "anti-social" city and noting that the 1960 sit-ins might have been considerably more violent had they occurred elsewhere.