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Kelly M. Alexander, Sr. papers

Identifier: MS0055

Scope and Contents

This collection contains material primarily created and received by Alexander as president of the North Carolina State Conference of Branches, NAACP, and as a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors. Material reflects his involvement at the local, state, and national level. There is little material documenting his involvement with the family business (Alexander Funeral Home, Inc.) and his Masonic activities.


  • Creation: 1950 - 1985


Conditions Governing Access

Collection is open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. Some rights retained by Mrs. Margaret A. Alexander.

Biographical Note

Kelly Miller Alexander was born in Charlotte, N.C., the youngest of four sons of Zechariah and Louise B. McCullough Alexander. He attended Charlotte public schools. At Second Ward High School, Alexander played half-back on the football team and earned the nickname "Ship-wreck Kelly." After studying at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he graduated from the Renouard College of Embalming in New York City. He succeeded his father as president of Alexander Funeral Home, Inc. and Alexander Mutual Burial Association. Like his father, Alexander became identified in community affairs early in life and selected the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as the vehicle by which he would become involved in the fledgling civil rights movement. He reactivated the dormant Charlotte Branch, NAACP, in 1940; and in 1948, he was elected president of the North Carolina State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Branches, a post he held until October, 1984. Under his leadership, the N.C. Conference became the largest state conference in the country with over 120 branches and 30,000 members. In 1950, Alexander was elected to the National NAACP Board of Directors and became a Life Member in 1954. In 1976, he was elected vice chair of the National Board. In June, 1983, Alexander became acting chair, then was elected chair in January, 1984. Alexander twice ran unsuccessfully for the Charlotte City Council in the 1950s. In 1965, his home, along with those of his brother Fred, lawyer Julius Chambers, and activist Reginald A. Hawkins were bombed. No suspects were apprehended, nor did any group ever accept responsibility for the terrorist acts. Alexander married Margaret Gilreece Alexander on April 21, 1946. They had two children: Kelly M. Alexander Jr. [who succeeded his father as president of the N.C. Conference NAACP] and Alfred L. Alexander [who succeeded his father as president of Alexander Funeral Home.] Kelly Alexander, Sr. died on April 2, 1985 and was buried in York Memorial Park in Charlotte.


11 Linear Feet

Language of Materials



Papers documenting Alexander's service with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, including the Charlotte branch, his presidency of the North Carolina State Conference of Branches, and his membership on and chairing of the national board of directors. Includes minutes, correspondence, reports, speeches, programs, news releases, membership records, documentation on NAACP-initiated court cases, and material on voter education projects. Also includes material on the 1965 bombing of his home, the Charlotte Area Fund, health care, school desegregation, and housing.


The collection is arranged into several series, some of which only contain one file. Additionally, there are a few files that don't fit into any series. The series are as follows:

Addresses and Statements, Life Membership Department, Branch and Field Services Department, Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., Financial Reports, Committee Meeting Minutes, Executive Director, Annual Reports, Branch Department, Correspondence, Executive Committee, Education Department, Labor Department, Board of Directors, Conventions, Voter Education and Political Action, Washington Bureau, Spingarn and Thalheimer Awards, Department of Justice (of NAACP), National Housing Corporation, Economic Development Committee, Energy Committee, Religious Affairs Department, Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Department, the Crisis Magazine, Fair Share Program, Operation Fair Share, Resolutions, News Releases, Newsletter, Biographical Material, Benjamin Hooks Suspension, Youth Division, Prison Programs, Roy Wilkins Tribute, Port Gibson (Miss.) Case, Griffin Bell U.S. Attorney-General Nomination, Lewis Steel Dismissal, Hassan Muhammad Matter, Miscellany, Non-Region V, Region V-Southeastern, North Carolina Conference of Branches, Charlotte Branch and Photographs.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Gifts of Margaret A. Alexander, Charlotte, N.C., 1986-87.

Processing Information

Processed by Mike Mahon, Tricia Kent, Leslie Griffin, Brooke Fox, and Randy Penninger. Preliminary processing completed February, 1993.

Kelly M. Alexander, Sr. papers
Mike Mahon, Tricia Kent, Leslie Griffin, Brooke Fox, and Randy Penninger
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Repository Details

Part of the Manuscript Collections, J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections and University Archives, UNC Charlotte Repository

Atkins Library, UNC Charlotte
9201 University City Blvd
Charlotte NC 28223 United States

About this Site

Finding aids are guides to archival collections, including manuscripts, university records, and oral history collections. These guides help you find physical collections which can be viewed in the Dalton Reading Room on the 10th floor of Atkins Library. A small number of finding aids link to digital content online. Please contact us to learn more or to schedule an appointment:

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