Civil Rights Lawyer for Rosa Parks to Speak on Campus Feb. 8

Fred D. Gray, the civil rights attorney for Rosa Parks, will present a free public lecture entitled “Bus Ride to Justice,” followed by a question and answer session, at 7 p.m. Feb. 8 in Baldwin Auditorium.

Gray came to prominence working with Martin Luther King Jr., E.D. Nixon and Rosa Parks during the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. In addition to other notable cases, he also represented plaintiffs in the class-action lawsuit in the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.  

Fred Gray Picture online.jpg
Fred D. Gray

A video of Gray’s September 2013 presentation at the Jimmy Carter Presidential Library and Museum is available online from C-SPAN2, and an interview with Gray on John Seigenthaler’s “Words on Words” program can be downloaded as an MP3. They complement the release of the newly revised edition of his memoir, “Bus Ride to Justice: Changing the System by the System.”

At the Carter Library, Gray described his book to the audience as “a history of the Civil Rights Movement as it began in Montgomery, Alabama in December of 1955, spreading throughout the state, throughout the country.” He continued, “The effects went around the world. Almost every civil rights event that has occurred since 1955—to some degree—you can trace a great deal of it back to Montgomery, Alabama.”

Gray’s memoir details these events, including the arrests of Parks and Claudette Colvin, as well as the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

The revised edition of “Bus Ride to Justice: Changing the System by the System” is available as a hardcover and will be available for purchase at the Feb. 8 event. Additionally, Gray’s work “Tuskegee Syphilis Study: An Insiders’ Account of the Shocking Medical Experiment Conducted by Government Doctors Against African American Men” will be available in paperback. Both books can be purchased through

In lieu of an honorarium from Truman, Gray requested a $10,000 donation be made to the Tuskegee Human and Civil Rights Multicultural Center. Ekklesia Campus Ministry has coordinated the effort to help raise those funds. They have received assistance from the Funds Allotment Council, Student Senate, the Student Activities Board, the Communication Department, the School of Social and Cultural Studies, Multicultural Affairs Diversity Grant, the President’s Office and numerous private donations.