The following is a list of “Past Legends” and “Living Legends” to be honored and in whose names the Present-Day local “Warriors will be honored:
Abraham Galloway – Military Service for the Union during the Civil War, Activist for Civil Rights and State Senator in the North Carolina Legislature
George Henry White – An attorney, Republican U.S. Congressman from North Carolina between 1897 and 1901, and a banker. He is considered the last African-American Congressman of the Jim Crow era, one of twenty to be elected in the late nineteenth century from the South.
Charles Clinton Spaulding – An activist and prominent business leader who founded North Carolina Mutual Life Insurance Company, which became America’s largest black-owned business. He also provided leadership in the National Negro Insurance Association and the National Negro Bankers Association by 1920. In 1942 the New York Chamber of Commerce, mainly a white body, elected him to membership. He served as a trustee for Howard University, Shaw University, and North Carolina College. He was also active in politics. As national chairman of the Urban League’s Emergency Advisory Council from 1930 to 1939, he campaigned to secure New Deal jobs for African-Americans.
Dr. Hubert Eaton – A longtime Wilmington physician, with his daughter, Carolyn, Eaton was the lead plaintiff in a 1964 federal lawsuit that led, in 1971, to the complete desegregation of New Hanover County schools. Eaton also joined other black doctors in suing for equal staff privileges at the former James Walker Memorial Hospital, and he led efforts to desegregate Wilmington College (forerunner of the University of North Carolina Wilmington), the Wilmington YMCA, the Municipal Golf Course and the county library system. A nationally ranked amateur in the old American Tennis Association, Eaton also served as guardian and mentor to Althea Gibson, while the future tennis star was attending Williston High School.
Thomas Jervay – The former editor of The Wilmington Journal Newspaper. Jervay and the Journal helped shape the events they covered. The newspaper is credited for its tireless crusades against segregation during the civil rights era. Jervay helped to secure the admission of the first black student to Wilmington College in 1962, to integrate the public library and to gain rights for African-Americans in public life in Wilmington.
Minnie Evans – An African-American folk artist known for her colorful drawings primarily executed in crayon. Evans didn’t start drawing until she was 43 years old, when a voice told her she must “draw or die”. Her work was an automatic process, seemingly directed by outside forces. Evans stated: “I have no imagination. I never plan a drawing. They just happen.”
Julius Rosenwald – an American businessman and philanthropist. He is best known as a part-owner and leader of Sears, Roebuck and Company, and for establishing the Rosenwald Fund, which donated millions in matching funds to support the education of African American children in the rural South during the Jim Crow years, as well as other philanthropic causes in the first half of the 20th century. He was also a Trustee for Tuskegee Institute.
Dr. Frank Avant – First Black Physician to Practice in North Carolina, One of the Founders of Community Hospital , and an Advocate for Quality Medical Care for African-Americans
Captain Mary Mills – A minority nursing pioneer that through education and determination, achieved an international nursing career that brought health and hope to medically under-served people around the world.
Robert Robinson Taylor – First Black graduate of MIT, Black pioneer in Architecture (the First in North Carolina), creator of the Architecture Program at Tuskegee Institute and creator of an Architecture Program in Liberia
Major General Joseph McNeil (USAF Retired) – The LBJ Presidential Living Legend Award– Born in Wilmington, North Carolina in 1942. Joseph graduated from Williston Senior High School in 1959. McNeil and three other black students at North Carolina A&T University led the sit-ins that began on Feb. 1, 1960, at Woolworth’s in Greensboro, N.C., and galvanized youths to fight segregation nationwide. McNeil, who was also in ROTC, graduated in 1963 with a degree in engineering physics and was immediately commissioned by the U.S. Air Force. After working briefly as an investment banker, McNeil joined the Federal Aviation Administration but remained in the Air Force Reserve. In 2000, he retired from the Air Force Reserve with the rank of major general.