Ceremony Scheduled to Rename Jeff Davis Avenue for Attorney Fred Gray
The City of Montgomery has announced a ceremony to rename Jeff Davis Avenue for noted civil rights attorney Fred Gray.
Jeff Davis Avenue had been named for Confederate President Jefferson Davis. In December, Montgomery Mayor Steven Reed started an effort to rename the street for Gray, whose childhood home is there.
Reed and the Montgomery City Council will host a public ceremony on October 26 at 11 a.m. at 900 Oak Street to unveil and dedicate the new Fred D. Gray Avenue signage.
“As our nation examines our shared history in an unflinching and honest way, there is no better statement for the Birthplace of the Civil Rights Movement to make than naming a street for one of the heroes of the struggle, Attorney Fred D. Gray,” Mayor Reed said in a statement. “I would not be where I am today without his courage, his selflessness, and his tireless pursuit of justice, freedom, and equality for all. We see this as a milestone for Montgomery, but it is also part of a larger effort to shift the narrative surrounding our community and honor the real heroes who fought here for the right to a fair, equitable and accessible America.”
Gray’s long legal career included defending Rosa Parks, when her arrest sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott in 1955. The new Fred D. Gray Avenue will intersect the existing Rosa Parks Avenue in Montgomery.