Two men of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., Civil Rights Attorney Fred Gray and Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed at the unveiling of the Rosa Parks statue in downtown Montgomery, Ala., on
Sunday, December 1, 2019.
By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
Rosa Parks’ arrest was one of the events that setoff the Montgomery Bus Boycott that confronted the segregation of public buses.
Attorney Fred Gray was the legal counselor who defended Mrs. Parks in the Browder v. Gayle — the landmark case that ruled segregation on Montgomery buses unconstitutional.
“I wish Mrs. Parks could be here. For the officials, from the city and the county, to be able to honor Mrs. Parks and honor those plaintiffs, and even more importantly to honor the 40,000 African American men and women who stayed off of the buses for 382 days, it is indeed a step in the right direction,” Gray stated.
Civil rights attorney Fred Gray will be honored with the Living Legends Award from the National Black Caucus of State Legislators(NBCSL) for his continued efforts to fight on all fronts for the Civil Rights of Black people.
Gray represented civil rights icons like Rosa Parks, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and Edgar Daniel Nixon, known as E. D. Nixon, a Black American civil rights leader and union organizer in Alabama who played a decisive role in organizing the landmark Montgomery Bus Boycott there in 1955 and in the desegregation of public schools in Alabama.
For about 44 years from 1970 and until 2015 Gray served in the Alabama House of Representatives. The first two African Americans to serve on the Alabama Legislature since Reconstruction were Thomas Reed and Fred Gray.
On Friday December 6, 2019, Attorney Fred Gray will receive the Living Legend Award at the National Black Caucus of State Legislators (NBCSL) 43rd Annual Legislative Conference in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Gray will follow in the footsteps of several great icons such as last year’s recipient, the first Black mayor of New York City David Dinkins.
In recognizing his award Gray challenged those who stand up for others as leaders and policy makers.
“It’s their responsibility to go ahead and do what can be done to complete the job that we started many years ago,” Gray said.
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