Lucy Gray

Lucy Gray was born in Paris, Illinois in 1916. Her mother, Birtha Emmanuel, was English and Irish. Her father, Frank, was Black. She had five siblings: Neoma, Robert, Mary, Billy, and Francis.Lucy married Louis, and she has one son and one grandson.

After she married Louis, they moved to Urbana with Louis' aunt. They lived there before moving in with Lou's father to help with his sick son. At that time, she worked running elevators at Coffman, as a cook on campus, and helping Mr. Busey (president of Busey Bank) take care of his son.

She bought her house at an auction that they were having on the street. Her house was moved to Park Street from where the Illinois Stadium used to be. It was called “The Lost House.”

Considering the work on the mural, Lucy remembers that many people helped out, but she mostly remembers Angela Rivers' work. She recalls the park that was beside the mural and how kids were enjoyed themselves there during the summer. Lucy said, “I wasn't an artist so I didn't know what the mural meant but it was beautiful and a beautiful place to be around.”

Lucy Gray Interview (June 25, 2010): Part 1

Lucy Gray Interview (June 25, 2010): Part 2

Lucy Gray Interview (June 25, 2010): Part 3

Lucy Gray Interiew (June 25, 2010): Part 4