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“First African Americans on the N.C. Bench” Exhibit on Display at Wake County Justice Center

The exhibit features a timeline of the lives and achievements of each judge and justice from 1968-2006.

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Campbell Law School’s traveling exhibit honoring the contributions of pioneering African American judges in North Carolina is now on display at the Wake County Justice Center in Raleigh. The exhibit includes Judge Elreta Melton Alexander-Ralston, Judge Sammie Chess, Jr., Judge Clifton E. Johsnon, Judge Richard C. Erwin, former Chief Justice Henry Frye, Judge Cy A. Grant, Sr., Judge Allyson K. Duncan, and former Justice Patricia Timmons-Goodson. The exhibit began on Tuesday, January 22, in observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and will remain on display through the end of February 2020 in observance of African American History Month. 

The “First African Americans on the North Carolina Bench” features a timeline of the lives and achievements of each judge and justice from 1968-2006. North Carolina has numerous African American judges and justices today, including Chief Justice Cheri Beasley who is the first African American woman to serve as chief justice. 

“We are thankful for the opportunity to showcase this outstanding exhibit in the Wake County Courthouse,” said Wake County Senior Resident Superior Court Judge Paul Ridgeway. “We are honored to help educate the public on the important contributions made to our profession by the pioneers featured in the display.”  

The exhibit is made up of eight banners and can be viewed in the atrium area of the Wake County Justice Center. The installation was dedicated at Campbell Law School in February 2019 as part of Black History Month, and the banners were on public display at the City of Raleigh Museum in August. Campbell Law School's goal is to feature the traveling display in various locations throughout North Carolina. The exhibit was commissioned as part of Campbell Law School’s year-long 10/40 celebration in 2019 which marked the 10th anniversary of its move from Buies Creek to downtown Raleigh and the 40th anniversary of the school’s first graduating class.

First African Americans on the Bench Display

First African Americans on the Bench Display