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North Carolina Freedom Park: Business and Law

This guide contains information about the creation of the NC Freedom Park and its board members; an overview of African American history in North Carolina; and the themes of freedom as they relate to culture, education, and business and law.


Image Credit: A photograph of Charles N. Hunter published in 1925, Internet Archive.

Charles N. Hunter (January 9 1852-September 4, 1931)

Founder of the North Carolina Industrial Association

Image Credit: Photographs, Josephine Napolean Leary Collection, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University Libraries

Josephine Napoleon Leary (1856-1923)

Entrepreneur and Real Estate Mogul


Image Credit: 2021 Legal Legends of Color: Judge Elreta Melton Alexander,

Elreta Melton Alexander Ralston (March 21,1919- March 14 1998)

Attorney, District Court Judge

Image Credit: Julius L Chambers, Wikimedia Commons

Julius L Chambers (October 6, 1936- August 2, 2013)

Civil Rights Lawyer 

Medical Practitioners

Image Credit: George Simkins Jr., Dentist, and Community Leader, African American Registry

George Simkins (Aug. 23, 1924-Nov. 21, 2004)

Dentist, Civil Rights Activist

Image Credit: Brigadier General Clara L Adams-Ender, National Archives and Records Administration

Brigadier General Clara Adams- Ender (July 11, 1939- )

18th Chief, Army Nurse Corps

Additional Sources

Hine, Darlene Clark. “The Anatomy of Failure: Medical Education Reform and the Leonard Medical School of Shaw University, 1882-1920.” The Journal of Negro Education 54, no. 4 (1985): 512-25.

Juliet E. K. Walker. “Racism, Slavery, and Free Enterprise: Black Entrepreneurship in the United States before the Civil War.” The Business History Review 60, no. 3 (1986): 343-82.

Schweninger, Loren. “Black-Owned Businesses in the South, 1790-1880.” The Business History Review 63, no. 1 (1989): 22-60.

Thomas, Karen Kruse. “Dr. Jim Crow: The University of North Carolina, the Regional Medical School for Negroes, and the Desegregation of Southern Medical Education, 1945-1960.” The Journal of African American History 88, no. 3 (2003): 223-44.

Thomas, Karen Kruse. “The Hill-Burton Act and Civil Rights: Expanding Hospital Care for Black Southerners, 1939-1960.” The Journal of Southern History 72, no. 4 (2006): 823-70.

Lewis, Kenneth. "The History of Black Lawyers in North Carolina." Barnotes at 9.

Justesen, Benjamin R. “Black Tip, White Iceberg: Black Postmasters and the Rise of White Supremacy in North Carolina, 1897-1901.” The North Carolina Historical Review 82, no. 2 (2005): 193-227.

Winford, Brandon K. “‘The Bright Sunshine of a New Day’: John Hervey Wheeler, Black Business, and Civil Rights in North Carolina, 1929-1964.” The North Carolina Historical Review 93, no. 3 (2016): 235-78.