About Floyd B. McKissick Sr:
Attorney Floyd Bixler McKissick graduated from Morehouse in 1948 and began pursuing his career in law by first applying to the University of North Carolina School of Law. After being denied admission based on his race, he enrolled in the North Carolina College School of Law and with the help of the NAACP filed a lawsuit against UNC.
With a defense led by Thurgood Marshall, McKissick and three other students were admitted to UNC Law School as a result of that case. He was the first African-American student to be admitted at UNC Law School. After graduating, McKissick established a law firm in Durham, North Carolina in 1955. He became the leader of the Congress of Racial Equality in 1966.
His law firm in Durham primarily focused on civil rights issues with clients including the first black undergraduate student to attend UNC-Chapel Hill in 1955. He went on to defend sit-in protesters in Durham in 1957, as well as families who integrated the Durham City school system in 1959. He was involved with a segregated black local in the tobacco workers’ international. He earned a reputation as a leader in the community and as someone who fought hard for the justice and rights of his clients in North Carolina.
Over the course of his life, Floyd McKissick Sr. remained involved with the civil rights movement. He managed legal affairs for CORE and the NAACP and was later elected as national chairman of CORE in 1963.
In 1966, McKissick took over as the head of CORE. The organization experienced a major change as a result of his leadership due to a new focus on becoming assertive advocates for black power’s ideology. Along with other prominent leaders in the civil rights movement, including Martin Luther King Jr., he assisted with the remaining demonstration march over the course of 194 miles.
He remained active as a civil rights leader and was appointed as a state district court judge in 1990 to the Ninth Judicial District in North Carolina. He also became pastor of the First Baptist Church in Soul City, North Carolina. He passed away in 1991, but his sons carry on Floyd McKissick Sr.’s legacy of representing equal rights for all by fighting hard for the firm’s clients.
About Floyd B. McKissick Jr.:
Floyd McKissick Jr. received an AB degree from Clark University in Massachusetts, as well as a Master’s degree in Regional Planning from UNC-Chapel Hill, North Carolina. He went on to receive his Master’s degree in Public Administration from Harvard University and later received his JD degree from the Duke University School of Law in Durham, North Carolina. His current areas of practice include business law, criminal defense law, administrative law and family law.
He has practiced law since 1983 with a number of different law firms and has extensive experience representing Fortune 500 corporations, small businesses and numerous individuals in a broad range of complex legal matters. He joined the firm of McKissick & McKissick in 1990. He is an active member of his community and has previously served as a member of the Durham City Council and currently serves as a member of the North Carolina Senate.
A longtime public servant, he has served in leadership roles for eight years as a member of the Durham City Council. During that time, he was also involved in the city council’s Public Works Committee, the Taxi Cab Sub-Committee, the Joint City-County Planning Committee, and the Legislative Committee.
He has been honored with numerous awards, including:
The NC Housing Coalition 2009 Legislator of the Year
The NAACP 2009 Trailblazer
The 2013 Metropolitan Mayor’s Coalition Legislator of the Year
The 2009 NC Justice Center Defender of Justice Award
The George H. Bar Association Attorney of the Year
The 2011 Smart Growth America’s Leadership Award
The 2016 Bertha “B Hope” Legislative Leadership Award from Planned Parenthood South Atlantic
The 2011 Metal Valor for Excellent “Move” Award from the National Sclerosis Society
(Source: McKissick and McKissick Attorneys and Counselors at Law. Note: third generation attorney Floyd B. McKissick III also works in this practice!)