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Braxton Foushee has helped lay the foundation when it comes to equality here in Orange County -- it all began in 1960 when he sat down at Colonial Drug Store (then both a store and lunch counter) and requested to be served. Though Orange County has always been progressive for the South, this was a time when African Americans were not expected – or allowed – to dine in.
Foushee began serving his community and helped many local black people become registered voters. Once elected as the first African American Alderman in Carrboro in a 6-1 victory, Foushee got right to work! His passion for his community helped save Carr Mill Mall when it threatened to close, and he played a vital role in getting Hank Anderson Park built. According to an interview in the Carrboro Citizen, Foushee says his proudest moment was “bringing bus lines to Carrboro” at a time when many of the roads in black communities still didn’t have paved roads. Foushee worked to get repairs made to these roads, as well as having them paved.
Foushee’s community service includes being a lifelong member of the NAACP, serving on the OWASA Board of Directors from 1986-88, and a volunteer for the National Kidney Foundation for North Carolina, Georgia, and Alabama for over 30 years. He has been instrumental in the redevelopment of the Rogers Road neighborhood by advocating to bring water and sewer services to that community. Foushee continues his community service even today and currently serves on Carrboro’s Truth Plaque Task Force – a plaque that memorializes the town’s varied history, including its founder Julian Carr and civil rights efforts in the town. His wife Barbara continues the family’s legacy of public service, as a current member of the Carrboro Board of Aldermen.
This Black History Month the town of Carrboro would like to recognize Braxton Foushee for his courage, sacrifices, and his continued effort to make Carrboro a more equitable place for all.