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African American Album 2 - Events Timeline

1954 - Brown v. Board of Education

Brown v. Board: May 17, 1954.

Date of Event:
May 17, 1954

1951 - Floyd McKissick Enters UNC Law School

Floyd McKissick enters UNC Law School:

  • In 1951 UNC Chapel Hill admits its first black students. Floyd McKissick, an Asheville native, enrolls as the only black student in the Law School.
  • Later McKissick becomes one of the South's leading civil-rights workers and leader of CORE, the Congress of Racial Equality.
  • In the 1970s, McKissick is instrumental in the founding of Soul City, a federally financed "new community" in Warren County.
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1950s - National Events

The war has ended but unrest at home is just beginning. Visit this decade marked by the entrance of rock 'n roll and desegregation. Read about the infamous US Supreme Court Case, Brown vs. Topeka Board of Education, which outlaws school segregation by race. Watch and listen to Dorothy Counts' emotional experiences at Harding High School.

June 25, 1950 - The Korean War starts.

October 15, 1951 - I Love Lucy premieres on CBS.

May 17, 1954 - US Supreme Court outlaws school segregation.

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1950 - African American Graduate Students Study Out of State

NC pays tuition for African Americans to attend universities.

  • Many Charlotte teachers, including Coach Jack Martin of West Charlotte, go to northern universities to get graduate degrees.
  • Their tuition is paid by North Carolina because the state doesn't want African Americans to attend its all-white colleges.
  • Photo shows Jack Martin working in his brother's restaurant in New York while attending New York University graduate classes.
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1950 - Hotel Alexander

Hotel Alexander:

  • Late 40s, on McDowell St in Charlotte.
  • Only hotel for blacks between Washington and Atlanta.
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1950 - Arthur Grier Builds Grier Heights

Arthur Grier builds Grier Heights:

  • In the 1940s and 1950s, Charlotte businessman and funeral home owner Arthur Grier becomes a developer and builds more than 100 homes off Monroe Road.
  • This part of Charlotte is called Grier Heights. 
  • Photo shows Arthur Grier, right, at the Excelsior Club
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1949 - Carver College Opens

Carver College opens: 1949

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1949 - WBTV signs on

WBTV signs on: July 15, 1949.

  • A crowd of 5,000 arrives at the Armory auditorium to watch WBTV sign on the air at 7 p.m. 
  • Many of the television station's performers come from radio station WBT. WBT is heard throughout the East and gives black musicians a larger audience than they have ever reached before. 
  • The Golden Bell Quintet were frequent broadcast performers.
Date of Event:
July 15, 1949

1948 - Kelly Alexander, Sr., President of North Carolina NAACP

Kelly Alexander, Sr. becomes head of NC NAACP: 1948.

  • He will hold this position until 1984. 
  • Alexander believes that no racial progress will occur until the courts are used to seek racial justice. 
  • Under his leadership, this state chapter petitions more school boards and brings forth more school desegregation lawsuits during the 1950s than any chapter in the United States.
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1948 - Desegregation of the Armed Services

Desegregation of Armed Forces: July 26, 1948.

  • President Truman bans segregation and provides for equality of opportunity in the armed forces.
  • This photo shows one of the last all-black groups in the armed services.
  • Charlotte's John Southerland appears in this group of graduates from the US Naval Training Center in Bainbridge, Maryland on May 24, 1945.
Date of Event:
July 26, 1948