A highway honor for a civil rights hero

Updated: May. 25, 2018 at 12:01 AM EDT
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - A Charlotte man who dedicated his life to fighting racial injustice will be a permanent fixture in the city he served for decades.

A stretch of I-85, from the I-77 interchange to the I-85 connector, has been named after Julius Chambers.

Chambers helped moved the city forward and it came with quite a cost.

During a racially motivated attack in 1965, his home was blown up, and he lost a car during another blast with dynamite.

However, that didn't stop his quest for civil rights.

The governor, the mayor and former U.S. Transportation secretary Anthony Foxx were all on hand Thursday afternoon at Friendship Baptist for the official sign unveiling.

Chambers was remembered for the defining role he played in the Swann case which led to the integration of Charlotte Schools.

He was also the president of North Carolina Central University and for several years headed up the NAACP's Legal Defense fund.

His son Derrick Chambers says his father remains a hero to many.

"He was a humble individual, very humble. He would speak to anyone. If you had or needed advice, he would talk to you about it," Derrick Chambers said. "My father was a genuine humble loving person of all mankind."

The late Julius Chambers argued eight cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and never lost a case before the high court.

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