Civil Rights

March 1964: the Holy Week fasters. James Foushee is on the far right. Others, from L to R, are Patrick Cusick, LaVert Taylor and John Dunne.
Copyright Al Amon, From the John Ehle Papers (#4555), Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Our series, “August 1963,” continues to look back at North Carolina at the time of the March on Washington. Today we hear from James Foushee. As a teenager in Chapel Hill, he emerged as one of the leaders of the local civil rights movement.

My name is James Foushee. August of 1963, the 28th day, I was at the March on Washington in Washington, D.C.

Carrie Farrington
Alexander Stephens

Today we begin our series, “August 1963,” a look at North Carolina at the time of the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. This week marks the 50th anniversary of the march, and producer Alexander Stephens asked North Carolinians to think back to August of ‘63.

My name is Carrie Farrington. In August of 1963, I was a rising seventh grader at Chapel Hill Junior High School.

MLK
US Govt.

Busloads of people are headed to Washington, DC tomorrow to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington, and North Carolina will be well represented.

Andrea Harris was 15 years old in 1963 when Martin Luther King Junior gave his famous “I Have a Dream” speech.”

“The Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity," King said 50 years ago.

“I didn’t go then so I have to go now," said Harris.

Harris heads the North Carolina Institute for Minority Economic Development in Durham.

Submitted by Mandy Carter / Bayard Rustin Commemorative Alliance

    

Five decades ago, more than 200,000 people from all over the country gathered on the National Mall to call for racial and economic equality. Next week, participants will once again gather in Washington to mark the anniversary of the March on Washington, a pivotal moment in American history.

Julius Chambers
Citizenplastic / commons.wikimedia.org

In 1948, William Chambers, a black maintenance worker in Montgomery County, NC was denied payment for a job by a white customer. William Chambers spent many afternoons searching for an attorney to represent him, but all the white lawyers he asked refused. William told this story to his son, Julius Chambers, who then vowed to become a lawyer and fight for justice.

Julius Chambers
Ferguson, Chambers and Sumter

Charlotte commemorated a civil rights heavy-weight Thursday.  Julius Chambers fought for equality through the courts and argued some of the cases that helped integrate Charlotte’s schools and businesses.

He had a lot of hatred directed at him as an African-American challenging prejudice, but he never let that make him bitter. Instead, Chambers set up North Carolina’s first law firm to employ both black and white lawyers, partly to serve as an example of the integration he fought for.  He died last week.

Julius Chambers
Ferguson, Chambers and Sumter

    

Julius Chambers has been a fixture on North Carolina’s legal scene for decades, helping lead the battle for civil rights and playing an instrumental role in the desegregation of Charlotte/Mecklenburg schools.

He died last Friday at 76.

Julius Chambers
Ferguson, Chambers and Sumter

Friends and the state's legal community are honoring the life of Julius Chambers who died last week.  He was 76 years old. 

Chambers was active in the 1960s Civil Rights movement, founding the law firm that became North Carolina's first integrated practice.  A statement from the Ferguson, Chambers and Sumter firm said Chambers argued eight cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and won all of them. 

Greenville Federal Courthouse
Eastern District of NC, US District Court

A federal judge will hear opening arguments today in a case that pits African-American parents against the Pitt County Schools. 

Pitt County, like many school districts in North Carolina, has a long history of segregation in its schools. About a dozen or so districts in the state are still under an active desegregation court-order, first issued in the 1960's, that requires them to be supervised by the federal courts.

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum faces ongoing financial struggles, and the Greensboro mayor wants the city to take it over.
Jeff Tiberii

The International Civil Rights Center and Museum opened in Greensboro nearly three and a half years ago.  A national sit-in movement began on February 1st, 1960 at an F.W. Woolworth lunch counter on Elm Street, and today that site remains a commemoration and celebration of a chapter in American history.

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