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Meet Charmaine McKissick-Melton

In 1963, the Durham School Board extended the desegregation of schools to elementary school students. Third-grader Charmaine McKissick-Melton and her brother, Floyd Jr., were two of the first African-Americans to integrate North Durham Elementary School.

For some students, that act may have been exceptional, but for Charmaine, being the first African-American to do something was the norm in her family. Charmaine and Floyd Jr. followed in the footsteps of their grandfather who served in America's first black artillery unit, and their father Floyd Sr., who was the first African-American to gain admission to UNC School of Law.

  She has since gone on to build a successful career in media, establishing mass communication departments at Bennett College and North Carolina Central University.

She is also still active in Soul City, a planned community in Warren County that grew from her father's vision.

Host Frank Stasio talks to Charmaine McKissick-Melton, a professor of mass communication at North Carolina Central University, about her life and family.

Laura Lee was the managing editor of The State of Things until mid February 2017. Born and raised in Monroe, North Carolina, Laura returned to the Old North state in 2013 after several years in Washington, DC. She received her B.A. in political science and international studies from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2002 and her J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill School of Law in 2007.
Longtime NPR correspondent Frank Stasio was named permanent host of The State of Things in June 2006. A native of Buffalo, Frank has been in radio since the age of 19. He began his public radio career at WOI in Ames, Iowa, where he was a magazine show anchor and the station's News Director.
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