Black ExperienceEducation

North Carolina Names Highways for Black Educators

Two of North Carolina’s African-American icons of higher education are being recognized with sections of the state’s highways named in their honor.

The honorariums for Julius L. Chambers and John Hope Franklin were given the nod by North Carolina’s outgoing secretary of the Department of Transportation.

Chambers, who died in 2013, was a former chancellor of North Carolina Central University and the former director-counsel and president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund.

A summa cum laude graduate of what is now North Carolina Central University, Chambers earned a master’s degree in history and a law degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he was editor of the law review. Chambers also later earned a master’s degree in law from Columbia University in New York City.

John Hope Franklin
John Hope Franklin (Dan Sears via

Franklin, who died in 2009, was the James B. Duke Professor Emeritus of History at Duke University and one of the most prolific and respected historians of the 20th century. He graduated from Fisk University in Nashville and earned master’s and doctoral degrees at Harvard University.

Over the course of a long academic career, Franklin taught at North Carolina Central University, Howard University in Washington, D.C., and Brooklyn College in New York.

In 1964, Franklin was hired to the faculty at the University of Chicago, where he remained for 16 years before accepting a position at Duke. He later spent seven years on the faculty of Duke Law School before retiring in 1992 from teaching.

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