Oklahoma Christian is honored to present History Speaks: An Evening with Claudette Colvin and Fred Gray on February 9, 2015.
Colvin is a pioneer of the African-American civil rights movement. On March 2, 1955, she was the first person arrested for resisting bus segregation in Montgomery, Alabama, preceding the Rosa Parks incident by nine months.
Colvin was among the five women originally included in Browder v. Gayle. Colvin was considered the star witness in the case, which resulted in the Supreme Court issuing an order to end bus segregation in Alabama.
Gray defended both Colvin and Parks after they were charged with disorderly conduct for refusing to seat themselves in the rear of Montgomery city buses. Gray also successfully defended Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from charges of tax evasion, winning an acquittal from an all-white jury.
Gray’s representation of Vivian Malone and James Hood, who had been denied admission to the University of Alabama, led Governor George Wallace to make his famous stand at the schoolhouse door. Gray also led the successful effort to desegregate Auburn University and served on many other notable civil rights cases.
OC was proud to host two champions of school integration, Carlotta Walls LaNier and Terrence Roberts, for History Speaks: Little Rock Nine in 2014. Click here to watch OC president John deSteiguer interview Mrs. LaNier about her journey through desegregation and her passion for education.