She did not expect to be the only person of color in a classroom, and certainly not as the teacher. Before she was elected mayor of Elizabeth City, Bettie J. Parker taught math for 33 years at the local high school.
In 2017, she was elected leader of the majority-African American small city in the northeast corner of the state, making her the first woman to hold the position.
Sitting on the Pasquotank River, “The Harbor of Hospitality” is home to a U.S. Coast Guard base and the historically black college Elizabeth City State University.
Mayor Parker joins host Frank Stasio to discuss how her usual open-door policy and other aspects of her job have changed during the coronavirus pandemic.