A civil rights lawyer who once fought for the desegregation of the University of Alabama is now receiving an honorary degree from the school.
Lawyer Fred Gray of Taskigi will be awarded an honorary doctorate in law at Sunday’s graduation ceremony, the university said in a statement.
The beginning marks the 50th anniversary of three students becoming the first blacks to graduate from law school.
Gray, 91, once helped represent Vivian Malone Jones and James Hood in an attempt to desegregate the university, where he enrolled as the first black student in 1963 after the then governor. George C. Wallace put his “stand at the door of the school” against integration.
Gray also represented Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. and the black seamstress Rosa Parks, whose arrest for refusing to relinquish his seat on a white man’s bus sparked a boycott of the Montgomery bus. He later represented black men who filed a lawsuit after the government left their disease untreated in Tuskegee’s infamous syphilis study.
Gray is currently involved in a case to remove a Confederate monument from a square in the center of the predominantly black Taskigi.
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