Former NCCU Chancellor Julius Chambers dies - WRBL

Former NCCU Chancellor Julius Chambers dies

Posted: Updated:
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -

Julius Chambers, a Charlotte attorney whose practice was in the forefront of the civil rights movement in North Carolina, has died, his law firm said Saturday. He was 76.
    
A statement issued by his law firm, Ferguson Chambers & Sumter, said Chambers died Friday after months of declining health. A specific cause of death wasn't given.
    
"Mr. Chambers was not the first lawyer of color to try to address the issues of equality," firm partner Geraldine Sumter said Saturday. "He would tell you he had people like Buddy Malone of Durham that he looked to, the Kennedys out of Winston-Salem. The thing that Mr. Chambers brought to that struggle was a very focused, determined attitude that things were going to change."
    
In 1964, Chambers opened a law practice that became the state's first integrated law firm. He and his partners won cases that shaped civil rights law, including Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education regarding school busing.
    
The 1971 ruling in the case mandated crosstown busing and highlighted the power of federal courts to intervene when local public school systems hedged en route to full integration. The case came as then-Gov. Bob Scott had just taken office. Although Chambers won the case, Scott had already pledged that he wouldn't allow state money to be spent for busing.
    
"Chambers probably, being one of those lawyers rooted in the South, was able to see the inequities more clearly because they were so stark here in the late 60s and '70s," Sumter said.
    
The Charlotte Observer reports that Chambers took eight cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and won them all.
    
Chambers also served as chancellor of his alma mater, North Carolina Central University, from 1993 to 2001. Sumter said he cared about young people no matter where he went.
    
"I have never gone anywhere with Chambers where he didn't approach a young person and ask them what's your name, where are you from, who are your people, where are you going to school," she said. "It brought him joy and satisfaction that young black people were doing well and trying to go forward."
    
Among his survivors are two children, three grandchildren and a brother.
    
Funeral arrangements haven't been completed.

  • North Carolina NewsMore>>

  • What's happening to Common Core in NC?

    What's happening to Common Core in NC?

    Sunday, August 31 2014 4:06 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:06:55 GMT
    File PhotoFile Photo
    The General Assembly passed a law this summer opponents of Common Core hope will derail its use in North Carolina's public schools.
    The General Assembly passed a law this summer opponents of Common Core hope will derail its use in North Carolina's public schools.
  • Missing snow globe leads to dropped murder charge

    Missing snow globe leads to dropped murder charge

    Sunday, August 31 2014 12:46 PM EDT2014-08-31 16:46:31 GMT
    A judge dropped a murder charge against a Burke County man accused of killing his stepfather.
    A judge dropped a murder charge against a Burke County man accused of killing his stepfather.
  • 2 charged in fatal Rocky Mount strip club shooting

    2 charged in fatal Rocky Mount strip club shooting

    Saturday, August 30 2014 1:36 PM EDT2014-08-30 17:36:29 GMT
    Investigators say they have charged two men in a shooting death outside of a strip club in Rocky Mount.
    Investigators say they have charged two men in a shooting death outside of a strip club in Rocky Mount.
Powered by WorldNow

1350 13th Avenue
Columbus, GA 31901

Telephone: 706.323.3333
Fax: 706.327.6655
Email: news@wrbl.com

Can't find something?
Powered by WorldNow
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Media General Communications Holdings, LLC. A Media General Company.