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Charlotte community remembers civil rights icon Margaret Alexander who died

CHARLOTTE — The community is honoring the legacy of Margaret Alexander, a civil rights icon and a native Charlottean who died last Friday.

Margaret was born in 1924 and devoted her life to activism and desegregation in Charlotte. She also served as the state president of the NAACP.

“She took the rights that Black people had gained across her lifetime very seriously. She took the struggle for equality very seriously,” said her oldest son, state Rep. Kelly Alexander Jr.

As with most civil rights leaders, her fight for equality didn’t come without roadblocks.

“It wasn’t just being proud of her son being an elected official, but it’s all that work, that voter registration work, that ‘get out the vote’ activity over a number of decades,” Kelly said.

Kelly said much of his passion was inherited. His father was a longtime president of the North Carolina NAACP. His mother was right beside him, often documenting the historical moments, such as the marches.

“The biggest thing would be the bombing of our house,” Kelly said. “And generally you’d think ladies who are focused on their children and family holding it together, that if somebody tries to blow up their home, they’re going to start exerting pressure on their husbands and everybody to change course and do something else to make life safer. Not so. Mom was still full speed ahead.”

In an excerpt from Margaret Alexander’s oral history interview in 2001, she shared what she felt was most significant from her work with the NAACP.

“Just so many, integrating so many different facilities and things. Being first-class is what we should be and what we are. And, being able to move around, as we should be able to do.”

“I’m going to miss the ability to just talk to her about life, about her experiences,” Kelly said. “Her answers would help me put into perspective what was going on right now.”

(WATCH BELOW: Community says final good-bye to civil rights activist)