b. 1926 - d. 2006
Victoria Gray (Adams) was founder of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party (MFDP). After teaching voter registration classes in 1960, Adams became a field secretary for the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and led several successful boycotts. During Freedom Summer (1964), she opened several schools across Mississippi. In 1964, Adams ran against incumbent Senator John Stennis, a segregationist. Adams, Fannie Lou Hamer and Annie Devine announced the formation of the MFDP and asked to be formally recognized by the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to replace the segregationist Mississippi Democratic Party. Although unsuccessful in their appeal and the election, their testimony was aired by the DNC on national television. This gave widespread attention to the violence and injustice that African Americans faced and garnered support for the Voting Rights Act of 1965.