Mecklenburg County will hold a ceremony Friday at a building being renamed for a trailblazing attorney and judge who died three years ago.
County commissioners agreed in August to name the old criminal court building on Fourth Street after Clifton Johnson, who was the first African-American in North Carolina to serve in the states district, superior and appeals court.
A naming ceremony is planned for 2 p.m. Friday on the plaza side of the Judge Clifton E. Johnson Building at 700 E. Fourth St. in uptown. Planned speakers and attendees include Johnsons son, Clifton Johnson II; Mecklenburg commissioners Chair Harold Cogdell; Raymond Pierce, former dean of the N.C. Central University School of Law; former Mecklenburg County District Attorney Peter Gilchrist, and Resident Superior Court Judge Linwood Foust.
In the 1960s, Johnson was the first African-American hired as an assistant state prosecutor in North Carolina since the 19th century. He became Mecklenburgs first black District Court judge in 1969, and the states first black chief District Court judge five years later.
Johnson was appointed to the N.C. Superior Court in 1977 and the N.C. Court of Appeals in 1982.