On May 21, 1957 the North Carolina General Assembly enacted Chapter 744 of the Session Laws of 1957, an act to regulate and license real estate brokers and real estate salesmen in North Carolina. The act established the North Carolina Real Estate Licensing Board (this name changed to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission in late 1983), which was composed of five Governor appointed members. Board members had the power to create and enforce rules and regulations connected with the application for any broker or salesman license and suspend or revoke those licenses with due cause.
In the Commission’s nearly 67 year history more than 80 Commission members, all with diverse backgrounds and experience, have served on the board. As we enter February, which marks Black History Month, the Commission would like to recognize some of its African American Commission members throughout the years.
In 1979 Mr. James A. Beaty, Jr. was appointed by Governor James B. Hunt, becoming the first African American Commission member. Mr. Beaty, at the time an attorney in Winston-Salem, served on the Commission until 1981 when he became a Superior Court Judge in Forsyth County. In 1994 Mr. Beaty was nominated by President Bill Clinton to the United States District Court for the Middle District of North Carolina, where he served until his retirement in 2018.
The late Mr. Thomas Council, of Fayetteville, was appointed by Governor Hunt to fill the vacancy left by Mr. Beaty in 1981. Mr. Thomas, who founded his own real estate brokerage firm, was an experienced real estate professional dedicated to civic and community service. Serving on the Commission until 1985 Mr. Council was elected Vice-Chairman in 1984 and then Chairman in 1985, becoming the first African American to hold either position.
Continuing with Commission firsts, in 1989 Mrs. Patrice P. Lewis was appointed by Governor James G. Martin to become the first African American woman to serve as a Commission member. Mrs. Lewis was a law clerk for Judge Robert E. Orr with the North Carolina Court of Appeals. Mrs. Lewis, an attorney, who came to the Commission with North Carolina Court of Appeals experience, served on the Commission for one 3-year term.
The Commission members referenced above represent firsts in Commission member history, but they certainly would not be the last. Below are other African American Commission members, including current Vice Chair T. Anthony Lindsey, past Chair Wendell Bullard, and member Jocelyn Mitnaul Mallette.
The Commission recognizes the service and immense contributions of these, and all other past and present, Commission members to real estate brokerage in North Carolina.