While Charlotte is not in the “path of totality,” so we won’t see a complete eclipse, you absolutely must use a solar filter (eclipse glasses or a solar viewer) when looking at the sun during the entire eclipse event in the Charlotte area. According to NASA, “The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as ‘eclipse glasses’ or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun; they transmit thousands of times too much sunlight.”
But make sure your glasses aren’t fake. According to the American Astronomical Society, “The marketplace is being flooded by counterfeit eclipse glasses that are labeled as if they’re ISO-compliant when in fact they are not. So now we suggest that you make sure you get (or got) your eclipse viewers from one of the suppliers listed on the Reputable Vendors of Solar Filters & Viewers page.”
You can find more information about eclipse viewing safety at https://eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.