Margaret Alexander, 30 April 2001
Scope and Contents
Margaret Alexander, civil rights activist and wife of civil rights pioneer Kelly Alexander Sr., discusses her involvement in Charlotte's civil rights struggles of the 1950s and 1960s as a member of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch of the NAACP. She describes her experiences growing up in the First Ward neighborhood and living in a segregated city. After her marriage to Kelly Alexander in 1946 Mrs. Alexander took on the role of his personal assistant, usually working behind the scenes to push out mailings, make arrangements for civil rights leaders to visit Charlotte, and organize voter drives, among other activities. She reflects on the tireless efforts of the NAACP to support school integration after the Brown v. Topeka Board of Education decision in 1954, and on the frustration felt over the intransigence of the local school board to approve assignments of black children to white schools. Mrs. Alexander also describes the horrific bomb attack on the Alexander home in 1965 when it was targeted along with the homes of three other civil rights activists, and she notes the outpouring of sympathy that followed. Although she was aware of more militant civil rights activism in Charlotte, Mrs. Alexander sees the NAACP as the major player in bringing about social change in the city over the long term. She describes Kelly Alexander Sr.'s central role in this achievement, depicting him as a leader who consistently challenged segregation and inequality in areas including education, politics, recreation, and public accommodations, and who worked through civil discourse to attain his goals.
- Creation: 30 April 2001
Conditions Governing Access
All 15 interviews in the collection are available in the digital repository. Original audiovisual material is closed to patron use.
Margaret Alexander was a 76-year-old woman at the time of interview, which took place at her home in Charlotte, North Carolina. She was born in Charlotte in 1924. She was educated at Second Ward High School and N.C. College for Negroes (now N.C. Central University); and was employed as a volunteer with the Charlotte-Mecklenburg branch of the NAACP and with the North Carolina State Conference of NAACP Branches for 43 years.
Language of Materials
Part of the Oral Histories, 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