Gray, activist from lunch counter protest photo, dies at 84
JACKSON, Miss. (AP) — A community organizer shown in an iconic photograph while challenging racial segregation in Mississippi in the 1960s has died at his home in Pocatello, Idaho.
Known by his birth name John Salter Jr. when he worked at Tougaloo College in Mississippi, he later changed his name to John Hunter Gray to honor the Native American part of his ancestry.
Relatives say he was 84 when he died Monday after an illness.
Salter was a sociology teacher and NAACP youth adviser in May 1963 when he joined black and white Tougaloo students who staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter at the Woolworth’s store in downtown Jackson, Mississippi.
Young white people shouting racial slurs doused them with sugar, mustard and ketchup and attacked Salter with brass knuckles and broken glass.