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Edith Armstead Gray

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Information about Edith Armstead Gray

Profile image of Edith Armstead Gray

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
High School Home Economics Teacher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere New
Favorite Quote:
War Is The Surgery Of Crime. Bad As It Is Within Itself, It Always Implies That Something Worse Has Gone Before.

Birthplace

Born:
11/19/1910
Birth Location:
Galveston, Texas

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
High School Home Economics Teacher

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Yellow
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere New
Favorite Quote:
War Is The Surgery Of Crime. Bad As It Is Within Itself, It Always Implies That Something Worse Has Gone Before.

Birthplace

Born:
11/19/1910
Birth Location:
Galveston
See how Edith Armstead Gray is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

High school home economics teacher Edith Armstead Gray was born on November 19, 1910 in Galveston, Texas to Millie and Henry Armstead. Although Gray and her family sometimes worked as farm laborers picking cotton, her parents valued education and encouraged their children to attend college. She attended Lamarque Public School and Booker T. Washington School in Lamarque, Texas before earning her high school diploma from Central High School in Galveston in 1930. The following year, Gray enrolled at Tuskegee Institute, slowly working her way towards her degree. As a member of the Tuskegee 100 Voice Choir, she traveled with the group across the country for six weeks singing at Radio City Music Hall in New York and for President Franklin Roosevelt's mother's birthday in 1932.

In the mid-1930s, when she was no longer able to pay tuition, she returned to Texas where she worked as a seamstress. In 1934, she received her first and only teaching job with the Conecuh County Board of Education in Alabama, teaching home economics until she retired in 1976. While teaching, she completed her studies at Tuskegee and earned her B.S. degree in 1940, nearly ten years after she enrolled. In 1966, Gray joined the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and served as the first secretary for the Conecuh County chapter, where she helped to organize people for civil rights protests and tried to increase the membership.

Gray is widowed and has three adult children, Frederick, Jerome and Phyllis.

Edith Armstead Gray was interviewed by TheHistoryMakers on May 18, 2004.

See how Edith Armstead Gray is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Edith Armstead Gray's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Edith Armstead Gray lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Edith Armstead Gray talks about her mother and describes her personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Edith Armstead Gray describes visiting her maternal grandparents' farm in Cedar Lake, Texas and her mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Edith Armstead Gray talks about her father
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls stories her father shared about his childhood
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls how her parents met and married
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls the account of her great-grandmother's enslavement
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls the account of her great-grandfather's enslavement
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls the account of her grandmother being sexually assaulted by a plantation owner during slavery
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls her earliest childhood memories
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Edith Armstead Gray shares memories from her childhood in La Marque, Texas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Edith Armstead Gray remembers holidays during her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Edith Armstead Gray describes her maternal grandmother
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Edith Armstead Gray talks about her oldest sister
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Edith Armstead Gray talks about her brother Otis Armstead
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Edith Armstead Gray talks about her maternal uncle attending Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute while George Washington Carver was on the faculty
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls her brother earning money by picking cotton near Bay City, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls the impact of her brother's refusal to attend Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls her early elementary school education in La Marque, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls spelling matches in elementary school
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Edith Armstead Gray explains how she decided to study home economics
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Edith Armstead Gray describes the smells of growing up in Galveston, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Edith Armstead Gray talks about the benefits of stocking up on groceries
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls attending church as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls an unpleasant teacher from Booker T. Washington School in Bay City, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls an influential teacher from Booker T. Washington School in Bay City, Texas
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Edith Armstead Gray describes her personality as a child
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls her experience at Central High School in Galveston, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Edith Armstead Gray remembers her home economics teacher at Central High School in Galveston, Texas
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Edith Armstead Gray talks about her family's education
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls her maternal uncle's influence in her decision to attend Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls her experience at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Edith Armstead Gray explains how financial difficulties delayed her plans for graduating from Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls obtaining her job as a home economics teacher at Conecuh County Training School in Evergreen, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Edith Armstead Gray remembers encountering George Washington Carver during her time at Tuskegee Institute in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Edith Armstead Gray remembers her mother's reaction when she obtained her first job
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Edith Armstead Gray explains the reason Conecuh County Training School in Evergreen, Alabama changed its name to Thurgood Marshall High School
  • Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Edith Armstead Gray describes her experience teaching home economics at Conecuh County Training School in the 1930 and 1940s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Edith Armstead Gray expounds on why home economics should continue to be taught
  • Tape: 3 Story: 13 - Edith Armstead Gray talks about the lack of integration in Conecuh County, Alabama School system
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls Montgomery, Alabama during the Montgomery Bus Boycott of 1955-1956
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Edith Armstead Gray explains the lack of protests in Evergreen, Alabama during the height of the Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Edith Armstead Gray recalls her involvement with the NAACP in Evergreen, Alabama during the late 1960s
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Edith Armstead Gray describes the dilapidated conditions of the white high school in Evergreen, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Edith Armstead Gray describes changes that she saw in student attitudes throughout her teaching career
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Edith Armstead Gray describes her sons' educational achievements
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Edith Armstead Gray describes her concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Edith Armstead Gray expounds on the educational importance of listening to children and providing them with opportunities
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Edith Armstead Gray reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Edith Armstead Gray shares advice for aspiring educators
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Edith Armstead Gray reflects upon her legacy, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Edith Armstead Gray describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Edith Armstead Gray remembers her late husband
  • Tape: 4 Story: 14 - Edith Armstead Gray reflects upon the importance of sharing African American history to younger generations
  • Tape: 4 Story: 15 - Edith Armstead Gray reflects upon her legacy, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 16 - Edith Armstead Gray narrates her photographs