Governor Perdue presented Barber with the Long Leaf Pine award at an anniversary banquet in the Bull City.
The banquet was held to honor the Durham Committee on the Affairs of Black People's 75th anniversary.
The Long Leaf Pine award is given to individuals who have a proven record of service to the state.
The governor praised Reverend Barber for his work with the Wake County School board.
Barber is an opponent of Wake County's plan to switch from economic diversity to community-based schools.
He says the School Board's latest decision to change the assignment policy will lead to re-segregation.