Our Roots Run Deep: Black History in Carrboro
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 Chapel Hill-Carrboro 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.