Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Local news

CAIR commends renaming Montgomery street for civil rights attorney Fred Gray

The Montgomery City Council on Tuesday renamed Jeff Davis Avenue as Fred Gray Avenue.

Martin King III, Dr. King's oldest son; Rosa Parks; Attorney Fred Gray, Mrs. Parks' lawyer. (Library of Congress)

The Council on American-Islamic Relations on Thursday commended the city of Montgomery for renaming a street that was named after Jefferson Davis, the president of the Confederacy, for the civil rights leader Fred Gray. 

“Racism has no place in the public sphere, and we welcome all measures to address the legacy of white supremacy,” said CAIR national communications coordinator Ismail Allison in a statement. “We urge all public institutions to challenge racism in their midst and work to promote a more just and equitable society.” 

The Montgomery City Council on Tuesday renamed Jeff Davis Avenue as Fred Gray Avenue.

Gray was a Montgomery attorney critical to the civil rights movement, having represented Martin Luther King Jr., Rosa Parks and Claudette Colvin. Gray filed the federal lawsuit that let marchers safely travel from Selma to Montgomery, and another lawsuit that desegregated Alabama’s colleges and more than 100 school systems.

Gray was born and grew up on the street that now bears his name. 

“It is important for us to recognize the sacrifice and contributions of attorney Gray,” Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed said during Tuesday’s meeting. “He returned here with the goal of destroying everything segregated, and he did all he could. I think this is very important for the young people who not only grow up in that part of the city, but in all parts of the city, to see the way he changed this country and overcame obstacles, but did so with class and dignity. It’s very, very important.”

Allison said the American Muslim community and CAIR are standing in solidarity with all those challenging anti-Black racism, xenophobia, Islamophobia, anti-Semitism, white supremacy and all other forms of bigotry.   

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Eddie Burkhalter is a reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter. You can email him at [email protected] or reach him via Twitter.

More from APR

Featured Opinion

Our elected leaders have an opportunity to turn back the bigotry driving attacks on libraries and schools. Instead, they're encouraging it.


“Today, we solemnly mark 60 years since one of the darkest days in Alabama’s history," Britt said.


APR spoke with former Sen. Doug Jones to get his thoughts on the 60th anniversary of the Birmingham tragedy.


Nearly 60 years ago, a bomb tore through Birmingham’s 16th Street Baptist Church, killing four little girls and rocking the nation.