UNC Charlotte Special Collections J. Murrey Atkins Library - Special Collections & University Archives

Alexander (Kelly M., Sr.) Papers Edit

Summary

Identifier
MS0055

Dates

  • 1950 – 1985 (Creation)

Extents

  • 11 Linear Feet (Whole)

Subjects

Notes

  • Abstract

    Papers documenting Alexander's service with the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, including the Charlotte branch, his presidency of the North Carolina State Conference of Branches, and his membership on and chairing of the national board of directors. Includes minutes, correspondence, reports, speeches, programs, news releases, membership records, documentation on NAACP-initiated court cases, and material on voter education projects. Also includes material on the 1965 bombing of his home, the Charlotte Area Fund, health care, school desegregation, and housing.

  • Biographical / Historical

    Kelly Miller Alexander was born in Charlotte, N.C., the youngest of four sons of Zechariah and Louise B. McCullough Alexander. He attended Charlotte public schools. At Second Ward High School, Alexander played half-back on the football team and earned the nickname "Ship-wreck Kelly." After studying at the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, he graduated from the Renouard College of Embalming in New York City. He succeeded his father as president of Alexander Funeral Home, Inc. and Alexander Mutual Burial Association. Like his father, Alexander became identified in community affairs early in life and selected the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People as the vehicle by which he would become involved in the fledgling civil rights movement. He reactivated the dormant Charlotte Branch, NAACP, in 1940; and in 1948, he was elected president of the North Carolina State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People Branches, a post he held until October, 1984. Under his leadership, the N.C. Conference became the largest state conference in the country with over 120 branches and 30,000 members. In 1950, Alexander was elected to the National NAACP Board of Directors and became a Life Member in 1954. In 1976, he was elected vice chair of the National Board. In June, 1983, Alexander became acting chair, then was elected chair in January, 1984. Alexander twice ran unsuccessfully for the Charlotte City Council in the 1950s. In 1965, his home, along with those of his brother Fred, lawyer Julius Chambers, and activist Reginald A. Hawkins were bombed. No suspects were apprehended, nor did any group ever accept responsibility for the terrorist acts. Alexander married Margaret Gilreece Alexander on April 21, 1946. They had two children: Kelly M. Alexander Jr. [who succeeded his father as president of the N.C. Conference NAACP] and Alfred L. Alexander [who succeeded his father as president of Alexander Funeral Home.] Kelly Alexander, Sr. died on April 2, 1985 and was buried in York Memorial Park in Charlotte.

  • Conditions Governing Access

    Collection is open for research.

  • Conditions Governing Use

    Some material may be copyrighted or restricted. It is the patron's obligation to determine and satisfy copyright or other case restrictions when publishing or otherwise distributing materials found in the collections. Some rights retained by Mrs. Margaret A. Alexander.

  • Immediate Source of Acquisition

    Gifts of Margaret A. Alexander, Charlotte, N.C., 1986-87.

  • Other Finding Aids

    Fred D. Alexander Papers (UNCC Manuscript 91) ; Stanford R. Brookshire Papers (UNCC Manuscript 41) ; Julius L. Chambers Papers (UNCC Manuscript 85) ; Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee Records (UNCC Manuscript 101) ; Harry Golden Papers (UNCC Manuscript 20) ; Reginald A. Hawkins Papers (UNCC Manuscript 125) ; Library of Congress, Manuscript Division: records of the NAACP, NAACP Washington Bureau, and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund.

  • Preferred Citation

    Kelly M. Alexander Papers. J. Murrey Atkins Library Special Collections, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

  • Processing Information

    Processed by Mike Mahon, Tricia Kent, Leslie Griffin, Brooke Fox, and Randy Penninger. Preliminary processing completed February, 1993.

  • Related Materials

    Fred D. Alexander Papers (UNCC Manuscript 91). Stanford R. Brookshire Papers (UNCC Manuscript 41). Julius L. Chambers Papers (UNCC Manuscript 85). Charlotte-Mecklenburg Community Relations Committee Records (UNCC Manuscript 101). Harry Golden Papers (UNCC Manuscript 20). Reginald A. Hawkins Papers (UNCC Manuscript 125). Library of Congress, Manuscript Division: records of the NAACP, NAACP Washington Bureau, and NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. Kelly Alexander Jr. Papers. (UNCC Manuscript 233). Poster of officers of the North Carolina Third Regiment U.S.V. Infantry in the War with Spain, RARE E725.5.N3 M55 1899. Kelly Alexander, Sr. Family papers (MS509) and Kelly Alexander, Sr. collection of NAACP materials (MS508).

  • Scope and Contents

    This collection contains material primarily created and received by Alexander as president of the North Carolina State Conference of Branches, NAACP, and as a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors. Material reflects his involvement at the local, state, and national level. There is little material documenting his involvement with the family business (Alexander Funeral Home, Inc.) and his Masonic activities.

Components