Harvey E. Beech Papers, 1939-2004

Creator: Beech, Harvey E., 1923-
Collection number: 5465-z
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Abstract: Harvey E. Beech was born in Kinston, N.C., in 1923. He was a lawyer, philanthropist, and advocate of civil rights. While studying law in the early 1950s, Beech was asked to join a case against the University of North Carolina School of Law. In 1951, after a lengthy court battle, Beech and four other students became the first African Americans admitted to the UNC law school. He graduated in June 1952 and went on to practice law for more than 35 years. Harvey Beech died in August 2005. The collection includes letters and an student notebook from an English class. The notebook, with some pages dated 1939, includes a variety of coursework activities and exercises. Letters include a few addressed to Harvey Beech, 1980-1981, expressing gratitude for Beech’s campaign support for President Jimmy Carter and North Carolina Governor Jim Hunt; a few offering congratulations on Beech’s being chosen as “Citizen of the Year” in Kinston-Lenoir County; a 2002 letter thanking Beech and his wife for their contributions to the Free Press Newspaper in Education Literacy Program; and a 2004 letter thanking them for contributions to Bennett College.

Repository: Southern Historical Collection

Collection Highlights: Related collections on education and desegregation at UNC Chapel Hill include the J Kenneth Lee papers (4782), Karen Parker Papers (5275-z), Leroy Frasier Papers (4375-z), and the Floyd McKissick Papers (4930)