Adams was ROAR'S Chief Advisor from 2003-2006
|National Memorial Service for the Homegoing of Mrs. Victoria Gray Adams
|VICTORIA JACKSON GRAY ADAMS
The hall entrance of Northwood Appold Church in Baltimore, MD
November 5, 1926 - August 12, 2006
HAMER ADAMS DEVINE
|Mother Victoria Gray Adams
w/son Rev. Cecil Gray in
June 10, 2006
|This oil painting was hand delivered to Mother Victoria Gray
Adams by Patricia M. Thompson on behalf of ROAR and
artist Holly A. Evans on June 10, 2006 in Petersburg, Virginia
at Virginia State University.
"Victoria Jackson Gray Adams & The Freedom and Democracy
The Legendary Victoria Gray Adams attended ROAR'S Fannie
Lou Hamer Celebration in September/October 2003, 2004 and
2005; She, also, facilitated ROAR'S Civil Rights Workshop in
March 2005 at the Hamer Facility Building whereby Adams'
5-Steps Model was explored and adopted. In October 2004, the
Legendary Victoria Gray Adams (escorted by her son, Rev. Cecil
Gray) blessed the Ground Breaking Ceremony at The Fannie
Lou Hamer Memorial Garden in Ruleville, Mississippi. And on
October, 1, 2005, Mrs. Adams was the Keynote Speaker for the
unveiling of the Amzie Moore Monument at Amzie Moore Park.
Mother Adams became ROAR's Chief Advisor in May 2003. When
she passed away in 2006 she was advising ROAR on The Fannie
Lou Hamer Legacy Committee.
Victoria Jackson Gray (Adams)
COFO, MFDP, SCEF, Mississippi, Alabama, DC, 1961 — 2006
I define/describe/understand myself as a Spiritual Social/Political,
CR Activist. I have been engaged in resistance to all acts of
repression (legal or otherwise) for as long as I have been aware
of them. The emergence/unfolding of the movement of the 60's
offered an opportunity to expand and structure that engagement.
My engagement continues to the present and will continue
throughout my Life Journey. Having been blessed with the
opportunity to live in diverse cultures and countries, the one
norm that seems to exist is that of unmet needs for/in segments
of the citizenry. So there is always opportunity + for servant
Ministry and Witness, wherever in the world we are. I have been
involved in sharing the experience of the 60's movement all
around the country, in College and University communities, in
Religious settings, and in my neighborhood/local community.W/O
a doubt, the 60's movement impacted my life most profoundly and
radicalized my understanding of what it means to "BE the Church"
in the world. What is required to "Create and Become the
Beloved Community." I have been and continue to be involved in
and affiliated with many groups and organizations, but the
experience of the 60's movement is the Plumb Line by which all
others are measured. The "Enfleshening" of the "Word" it was
and continues to be.
Words reprinted with permission by Mrs. Victoria Gray Adams
11/2003 Copyrighted 2002 by VGA
2003 Conference Proceedings
Bob Moses and Victoria Gray Adams
"Civil Rights as Theological Drama"
The Conference on Lived Theology and Civil Courage
Friday, June 12th, 2003
University of Virginia
The Project on Lived Theology
Walk of Faith!!
At the Project on Lived Theology's 2003 Conference on Lived Theology
and Civil Courage, Mrs. Adams made the following moving comments: "
As I revisit my journey in the Civil Rights movement, let me just share
with you why I do this, why I come when I oftentimes really don't feel
physically up to it, but when there's an opportunity to do so, I come. And
one of the reasons that I do this is that in addition to keeping the
experience on the front burner of our American society, keeping the
experience of the Civil Rights movement, especially of the 60's, alive, I
also share my story in the hope that I will inspire, or that it will inspire,
encourage, and lead you to put your faith into action because that is
the way I see all of this. It's a walk of Faith!
I, Patricia M. Thompson, had the unique blessings of meeting and
coming under the guidance of the legendary Victoria Gray Adams in
2003 as I continued on this journey to "Shine A Light" on Fannie Lou
Hamer's legacy and the people who worked with her.
What amazed me most about Mother Adams was her energy "to do".
Mrs. Adams commitment and passion for social change and justice
was just as strong when she passed away as it was over 40 years ago.
She was on the Board of Director of The Fannie Lou Hamer Project
based in Kalamazoo, Michigan and was a member of ROAR'S National
Fannie Lou Hamer Steering Committee. Recently, she agreed to lend
her wisdom, experience and precious time to ROAR INTERNATIONAL
consequently, becoming ROAR'S Chief Advisor from 2003 - 2006. She
was, also, very active in her community of Petersburg, Virgina.
Mrs. Adams was truly a "Dear and Beloved Mother" to far more
children than she birthed. She was infectious. Each of us demanded
of her too much, but, again, she was infectious.
In July 2004, Mrs. Adams, Fannie Lou Hamer, Annie Devine and the
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) was honored at the
National Democratic Convention in Boston, MA. A special tribute was
paid to Fannie Lou Hamer led by Dr. Maya Angelou with original MFDP
members Mrs. Adams, Rev. King, Mr. Lawrence Guyot and Mrs.
Emma Sanders sharing the stage.
In August 2004, Mrs. Adams' hometown, Hattiesburg, Mississippi,
honored her as Mayor Johnny Dupree gave her a "Key to the City".
In September 2004, Mrs Adams and others were honored at The
Kennedy Center with a special showing of "Standing On My Sisters
Shoulders": a documentary about her and other black women of
the civil rights movement.
On October 2, 2004, Rev. Victoria Gray Adams blessed the Ground
Breaking Ceremony at The Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Garden in
Ruleville, Mississippi by reading Mrs. Hamer's favorite biblical scripture.
Later that day, she participated in Cleveland's 4th Annual Amzie Moore
Day at Amzie Moore Park.
On October 5, 2004, she returned to New Jersey for yet, another
program honoring Mrs. Hamer and the MFDP. And, on March 12,
2005, she facilitated ROAR'S Civil Rights Workshop implementing
Adams' 5-Steps Process Model. And on Saturday, October 1, 2005,
she attended and spoke at Amzie Moore Park in Cleveland, Mississippi
during the ceremony unveiling of the Amzie Moore Monument at
Cleveland's 5th Annual Amzie Moore Day. It was clear, at this time, that
Mother Adams would not be, physically, returning to the Mississippi
Delta though I prayed I was wrong. Let's not forget that it was a miracle
she was alive and physically able to travel anywhere after April 2005.
She continued to speak to people throughout the nation regarding
her experience in the civil rights movement and what the needs are
and how to develop a strategy to meet those needs until illness struck
severely in February 2006 (just weeks prior she was preparing for a
conference at Mississippi Valley State University). Listening to Mrs.
Adams reflect on her friendship with Mrs. Fannie Lou Hamer and Mrs.
Annie Devine was a real treasure. Her descriptions permitted
one to journey back in time with them and feel their energy, spirit
and devotion to civil rights and social justice.
Mother Victoria Gray Adams joined Fannie Lou Hamer, Annie Devine
and other ancestors on Saturday, August 12, 2006 in Baltimore,
Maryland at her son's home (Rev. Cecil Gray). We will miss her, dearly,
but continue to thrive upon the lessons she taught us. ROAR is proud
to have been the last organization Mother Victoria Gray Adams
chose to invest her time and expertise in, second only to
Northwood Appold Community Academy Public Charter School (her
son, Rev. Cecil Gray's initiative).
She was a Mother/Mentor/Friend to many and helped shaped
the roots of THE ROAR FOUNDATION, INC/ROAR INTERNATIONAL.
More than that, she was wise, patient, understanding, forgiving,
loving, courageous, classy, contagious, humble, counselor,
leader by example, spiritual, religious, and mother to far more
children than she birthed. Personally, she shaped my life in
ways I am yet to describe fully. I am a much wiser and better
person for having had the opportunity to know, work with and
love dearly, the Legendary Victoria Gray Adams. May her Soul
Rest in Peace and her Spirit continue to manifest itself through
the mission of ROAR and other groups and organizations she
either participated in, advised or helped birth. She will be
Mrs. Adams with a
"KEY TO THE CITY"
during a celebration
in her honor
AUGUST 27, 2004.
Mrs. Adams by
returning home, also.
to the Past, Present
celebration to honor
Mrs. Victoria Gray
Adams and the 40th
Anniversary of the
August 27, 2004
|The Honorable Unita Blackwell and the Legendary Victoria Gray Adams
explained the plight of the risks involved in trying to register to vote in
Mississippi in the early 1960'S. (March 2005 Delta State University)
|Mrs. Adams takes out time to read the biography imprinted on the back of
the Amzie Moore Monument located at Amzie Moore Park in Cleveland, MS.
October 1, 2005
|Mississippi State Senator Willie Simmons serves Mrs. Adams Breakfast at
"THE SENATOR'S PLACE"during ROAR'S 5TH ANNUAL FANNIE LOU HAMER
DAY & Cleveland's 4TH ANNUAL AMZIE MOORE DAY October 2-3, 2004
|Mrs. Victoria Gray Adams &
Patricia M. Thompson
Amzie Moore Park
October 2, 2004
|" Life shrinks or
expands in direct
proportion to the
courage with which
we live it."
Mrs. Adams was still very active with civil rights/social issues until she
passed away. Above she attended a Breakfast Meeting in Atlantic City, New
Jersey for the formation of ROAR'S National Fannie Lou Hamer Steering
Committee. Seated from left to right: Seku Chico Neblett, Dr. L. C. Dorsey,
Mrs. Victoria Gray Adams, Ms. Patricia M. Thompson and Mr. Lawrence Guyot.
Also, in attendance was Rev. Ed King (MFDP) Ms. June E. Johnson (SNCC) her
son, and several members of the Original Freedom Singers. New Jersey's
former Secretary of State Regena Thomas invited us there for New Jersey's
Inaugural Fannie Lou Hamer Celebration. (October 5-6, 2003)
|Mrs. Victoria Gray Adams was a founding member of the
Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP) along with Mrs.
Fannie Lou Hamer and Mrs. Annie Devine. Adams was the first
woman to run for US Senate from the state of Mississippi.
Mother Victoria Gray Adams leads Gentry High School (Indianola,
MS) students in Freedom Songs during ROAR'S 6TH ANNUAL
FANNIE LOU HAMER CELEBRATION: "Education Is Essential Day"
Friday, September 30, 2005. Mr. Lawrence Guyot looks on and Mr. Charles
McLaurin motivated students by offering $100 award to best written paper on
Fannie Lou Hamer. Mr. Lukendric A. Washington was the winner.
|Mrs. Victoria Gray Adams facilitated ROAR'S Workshop
Fannie Lou Hamer Facility Building Ruleville, MS March 2005
|REST IN PEACE
MOTHER VICTORIA GRAY ADAMS
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(c) copyrighted THE ROAR FOUNDATION, INC. November 2003
Last Updated April 2009