‘Destroying Everything Segregated I Could Find’: Fred Gray and the Legal Campaign for Integration in Alabama


Rosa Parks was arrested in 1955 for refusing to submit to Alabama law requiring racially segregated transport. Her arrest triggered the Montgomery bus boycott. Fred Gray, barely a year out of law school, represented her - and for nearly half a century thereafter played a prominent role in almost every major civil rights case in the state. Gray's key moral and legal commitment was grounded in opposition to segregation of every kind, based on the law in principle and the US Constitution in particular. The early Gray was an idealist who advocated integration as the best means to break down segregation. The elder Gray, by contrast - even while rejecting black-nationalist calls for separatism - reflects an ideological shift away from untrammelled support for integration as such, to a more explicit focus on protecting the interests of the black community through the preservation of its institutions.


Fred Gray

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Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy

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7 (4) Critical Review of International Social and Political Philosophy 252 (2004)

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