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 TUC Radio 
 Updated Archive
 Weekly Program
 Attorney Fred Gray
 Maria Gilardin  
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Who was the attorney for Rosa Parks and Martin Luther King at the beginning of the Civil Rights struggle? Fred Gray, just out of law school, had made a commitment to destroy everything segregated in his home state of Alabama when he was in high school. Rosa Parks was only his second case, after Claudette Colvin, a teenager, who nine months earlier had been the first to refuse to give up her seat on a Montgomery bus and in turn inspired Rosa Park.

When Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 for violating the segregated seating ordinance, 26-year-old Martin Luther King was chosen to lead the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and 24-year-old Fred Gray also became his and the movement's lawyer. Gray's legal victory in the federal courts ended the boycott 381 days later. Fred Gray won scores of civil rights cases in education, voting rights, transportation, and health. He represented the Freedom Riders, the Selma-to-Montgomery marchers, and the victims of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study.

It was a Republican and former employee of the United States Public Health Service, Peter Buxtun, who blew the whistle on the Tuskegee study. Poor black sharecroppers were led to believe they were being treated, while in reality the study recorded the progression of untreated Syphilis. In 2009 Buxtun was the events coordinator for the Republican Roundtable. He invited Fred Gray to speak - and allowed TUC Radio to attend and record the event.  

The early history of the civil rights movement comes to life in this story of Fred Gray's life and education, as speaks for the first time in his life to a Republican audience - at least an audience that told him they were Republican. Fred Gray ends by saying that racism is still alive and even re—emerging in this country and makes an appeal to end it. He said this in 2009.
Republican Roundtable, Peter Buxtun

 210202_BHM_fred_gray_civil_rights_attorney Download Program Podcast
00:29:29 English 2009-07-28
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