Louis George Gregory (1874 – 1951), a descendant of enslaved blacks and white slave owners, devoted his life to championing unity among the races in the United States of America during the early 1900s. Gregory’s maternal grandmother was “wholly of African blood” and his maternal grandfather was the white owner of the Darlington County plantation where she labored. Gregory was influenced during his entire life by his grandmother who drew on her profound spiritual beliefs and chose not to hate, even after the death of her blacksmith husband at the hands of Klansmen.
Louis Gregory’s education at the Avery institute, Fisk University, and then Howard University’s School of Law established him as one of the “Talented Tenth,” the term coined by W.E. B. Dubois for capable and educated African Americans of that time.
Louis Gregory set aside a life of relative ease to teach the principles and beliefs of the Baha’i Faith, particularly the oneness of humanity. On one of his trips to Texas in 1920, as a traveling speaker on the subject of race unity, Gregory visited Austin and spoke at the two black colleges, Samuel Houston College and Tillotson Institute, as well as Anderson High School.
Because of Louis Gregory’s lifelong dedication to education and race unity, the Baha’i Faith of Austin, in collaboration with Huston-Tillotson University, wishes to honor him with this symposium at HT, the institution resulting from the merging of the two colleges in Austin at which he spoke so long ago.