Hundreds remember civil rights icon Julius Chambers

Hundreds remember civil rights icon Julius Chambers

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by GLENN COUNTS / NBC Charlotte

Bio | Email | Follow: @GCountsWCNC

WCNC.com

Posted on August 8, 2013 at 3:09 PM

Updated Thursday, Aug 8 at 8:14 PM

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- One of the greatest civil rights icons of our era was laid to rest Thursday afternoon at Friendship Baptist Church on Beatties Ford Road in Charlotte.

Julius Chambers, 76, passed away last Friday.  Thursday, his coffin was draped in an American Flag.  His field of battle was the courtroom, and injustice his enemy.

“Everything I’ve achieved in my life can be traced back to the war Julius Chambers waged against injustice,” said former Charlotte Mayor and current Secretary of Transportation, Anthony Foxx.

Foxx was one of many dignitaries who came to pay their respects.  He was born around the time Chambers won a Supreme Court case that said bussing could be used to integrate Charlotte schools.

"These people on Tryon Street, on Wall Street and all across America who owe their careers to this man," he said.

Chambers battled segregated schools and discrimination in the workplace.  For his troubles, his car and home were bombed, but that never stopped him.

"He did not have the time nor energy to hate back, so I believe last Friday, Chambers had given away all the pieces of his heart," said his law partner and friend of 49 years, James Ferguson.

Chambers resume is a lengthy one.  Two of his notable stops were Chancellor at North Carolina Central and Director of the Legal Defense Fund.

"This insistent focus on clients which I pass along to our Legal Defense Fund lawyers today revealed Julius' deep respect for the common man," said Sheryl Ifil, Director Council of the Fund.

For those who attended this home-going ceremony, Chambers leaves a legacy that few can match.

"I saw him walking up the hill...with Abraham, Martin, and John," said Ferguson.

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