Howard Lee

Howard Lee was elected to his first term as Chapel Hill’s mayor only five years after the Federal Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964. Mayor Lee was the first Black man to serve as mayor of a southern city with a majority white population since Reconstruction.  During his tenure, Lee addressed legislators in Washington D.C. convincing them to provide federal funding to modernize water and sewer lines in the Northside community.  He faced major opposition while trying to implement a public transportation system.  Today, that system is one of the most widely recognized in the country.  Learn more about Howard Lee and his legacy.


Trailblazers