Civil rights leader to speak at Emporia president's inauguration

Courtesy of Emporia State

Fred Gray Sr., a civil rights attorney who worked with Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks, will speak at Emporia State University in September.

Gray's presentation will launch inauguration activities at the university as Allison Garrett will become the school's 17th president.

Following the completion of his law degree, Gray began his career in civil rights law as legal representative for Claudette Colvin, who had refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama, city bus in 1955. Gray also represented Parks in the case following her refusal to give up her seat on a city bus in Montgomery.

Gray went on to take many civil rights cases, including representing King.  

“I am honored that Fred Gray will come to speak at Emporia State University,” Garrett said. “Rather than just having a front-row seat to history, Mr. Gray gave much of his life to change the very fabric of our country. His experiences and insights remain current today.”

Gray also served in the Alabama Legislature from 1970-74 as one of the first African Americans to do so. 

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Emporia State University

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