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African american woman holds folder while signing documents at home.

Source: Manu Vega / Getty

A pioneer in North Carolina politics, Ella B. Scarborough is native of Sumter, S.C., Scarborough was also the first Black woman to run for mayor of Charlotte and United States Senate in N.C.

Scarborough made history in 1987 when she became the first African American woman elected to Charlotte City Council, representing District 3 before being elected at-large in 1993.

She actively participated in the Economic Development Committee, dedicated to fostering economic growth opportunities for both individuals and businesses. Through her diligent work on the committee, she ascended to the role of Vice Chair in 2015, reflecting her commitment and contributions to the organization’s objectives.

Additionally, she was deeply involved in six other prominent organizations within the Charlotte community. Her noteworthy accomplishments have earned her recognition in esteemed publications such as the “Who’s Who in the World of Women” in 1980 and the Special Libraries and Information Sciences in 1982. Her expertise in research and adeptness in compiling archival information have solidified her reputation as a respected figure in her field.

Prior to her passing in May of 2022, Scarborough held one of three county commissioner positions in the Mecklenburg County community.