Activist Gary Gray describes following coverage of the Section 504 protests remotely and the impact of the movement on disabled people of color

About This Item

In this oral history interview, Gary Gray describes his experience as an African American man with cerebral palsy during the 504 protests in 1977. During the protests, Gray was a student at the University of Southern Illinois in Carbondale, Illinois. He did not participate directly in the 504 Sit-in, but he discusses following coverage, sometimes biased, of the event. He specifically addresses how people of color had been "fighting for 504 way before the political movement even began...because [they] had to fight for [their] right, right from the beginning" as a group further marginalized from an already existing minority. He notes that one shortcoming of the 504 protests was their continued failure to include people of color in leadership. He also discusses participating in a later protest for accessible public transit in San Francisco, recalling how long it took the police to arrest protesters because they had no way to transport people in wheelchairs.

Locale
1970s; San Francisco Bay Area
Date
Spring 2014
Format
mp4
Publisher
Paul K. Longmore Institute on Disability
Views
2619

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Gary Gray's account really opened up my own eyes. We son't realize that the struggle started way before the 504 protests. It must have been really hard to be of non-white color AND have a disability during those times. We are still not perfect as a global civilization, but I am glad that as a whole we are making progress.

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