Civil rights activist Louis E. Austin purchased The Stanford Advertiser in 1927. He transformed the North Carolina newspaper into one of the most important voices for African Americans living during the civil rights era. The newly named “Carolina Times” was used to publicize racial inequities and fight for racial equality throughout North Carolina and the United States.
Austin was involved in one of the first attempts to desegregate higher education in the U.S. In 1933, he personally drove Durham resident Raymond Hocutt to UNC-Chapel Hill to enroll in the pharmacy school.
When Hocutt was denied admission, he filed a civil rights case to integrate the UNC system, with support from the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.
During this era, blacks who died and did not have a will, their inheritance went to the North Carolina Education System. Edmonds believed that if blacks money was good enough to be used for the UNC education system, then they should be allowed to attend school in the system. Austin used the paper to documented Hocutt’s story to raise awareness and chronicle the struggle for civil rights in the black community. Louis E. Austin died in 1971. After Austin’s death, his daughter Vivian Edmonds served as publisher of the Carolina Times from 1971-2002.