Joseph Biggers, Second African-American Deputy Sheriff in Durham County

Joseph Biggers, Second African-American Deputy Sheriff in Durham County

In January 1959 Joseph Biggers was sworn in as Durham County’s second African-American deputy sheriff. The month before, in December 1958, the first African-American deputy, Garson McLeod, had joined the sheriff’s department. Like African Americans on the police force, they were hired to handle criminal and civil matters in the African-American community. This meant that the force remained segregated internally. Biggers, a World War II veteran and graduate of North Carolina College (now North Carolina Central University), resigned from the Durham County Sheriff’s Office in 1963 to take a federally-appointed position as a United States deputy marshal for the Middle District of North Carolina.