Native American Commission [Socialist Party USA]; Anti-Racism Commission of Democratic Socialists of America; Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism; Civil Rights Movement Veterans


Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear] is Chair of the Native American Commission of Socialist Party U.S.A.  He can be reached directly at and the SPUSA link is Socialist Party USA    See the Native American Commission Page on this website for up-to-date information


This Website is linked directly with the Anti-Racism Commission of Democratic Socialists of America and Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear] is the Regional Organizer for the Commission.

Hunter Gray [Hunter Bear] is the Idaho/Regional Contact Person for Committees of Correspondence for Democracy and Socialism [CoC] and his contact data is listed in the CCDS Website Chapter Page.

This is my [HG] biographical listing in the excellent website for Civil Rights Movement Veterans:

Hunter Gray (John R. Salter Jr., Hunterbear)
NAACP, SCEF, Mississippi, North Carolina, etc, 1961-1967
Current Residence:
2000 Sandy Lane
Pocatello, ID 83204
Phone: 208.232.2163
Web Site:

Tesitmony: My wife, Eldri, and I were in the Southern Movement from the
Summer of 1961 into the Summer of 1967: six years. A mixed-blood Native
American, I grew up in Northern Arizona. Beginning in the mid-1950s, I was
active in Native American rights; was a radical activist in what remained of
the old-time Industrial Workers of the World; was a radical activist in the
left-wing International Union of Mine, Mill and Smelter Workers [Mine-Mill.]
I learned much that was valuable as a labor organizer. And for my entire
adult life, I have been a left socialist.

Trained in sociology, I came -- with Eldri -- to Mississippi in 1961 and
taught at Tougaloo College, just north of Jackson. I was Advisor to the
Jackson Youth Council of the NAACP, a member of the executive committee of
the Jackson NAACP, a member of the Board of Directors of the Mississippi
State Conference of NAACP Branches, and a primary organizer of the Jackson
Movement of 1962-63. I worked closely with SNCC, CORE, and later also with
SCLC and Highlander. [I also conducted some of the first poverty/racism
surveys in several Mississippi rural counties and testified to my grim
findings before hearings conducted by the Mississippi Advisory Committee to
the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights.]

I served as the Strategy Committee Chair of the developing and ultimately
very large-scale and blood-dimmed Jackson Movement which reached its climax
in the spring and summer of 1963. I participated in the most direct sense in
many of the bloodily-suppressed and increasingly massive demonstrations.
Along with many others, I was beaten and arrested on a number of occasions;
was targeted in the sweeping anti-Movement injunction, City of Jackson v
John R Salter, Jr et al. [which, of course, we defied]; and was seriously
injured [along with a colleague, Rev. Ed King] and my car destroyed, in a
rigged auto wreck.

Following the sanguinary Jackson Movement epoch, I became, at the end of the
summer of 1963, Field Organizer for the radical Southern Conference
Educational Fund, which was then headed by Jim Dombrowski [with Miss Ella J.
Baker and Carl and Anne Braden and Rev. Howard Melish as staff colleagues.]
I worked across the hard-core South. I was primary organizer of an
ultimately quite successful large-scale, multi-county grassroots civil
rights organizing project in the isolated, poverty- stricken, Klan-infested
Northeastern North Carolina Black Belt. In 1966 and 1967, I organized
militant grassroots anti-poverty movements -- i.e., Peoples' Program on
Poverty -- in the Northeastern North Carolina Blackbelt. In those
hard-fought Southern years, my wife and I learned much, much indeed from the
grassroots about courage and commitment and vision -- and we have carried
all of that with us for all of these decades.

We left the South in the summer of 1967, went to the Pacific Northwest where
I was active in many social justice endeavours. In 1969-1973, we were on the
bloody South/Southwest Side of Chicago -- where I directed the large-scale
grassroots organization of multi-issue block clubs. We worked with Black,
Puerto Rican, Chicano, and some Native American people and we fought the
police and the Daley Machine -- and organized more than 300 block clubs and
related organizations. Concurrently, on the Northside of Chicago, I was a
key organizer of the all-Indian Native American Community Organizational
Training Center and served for many years as its Chair. I was active in the
Plains in Native rights campaigns; served as the controversial social
justice director for the 12 county Roman Catholic Diocese of Rochester, New
York [1976-1978] where Native rights and union labor and anti-racism were
among the key thrusts that I and others initiated and carried through

Then we were back in the Southwest for several years -- in the Navajo
country [the vast Navajo Nation], involved in anti-uranium campaigns and
related endeavours. For most of the 1980s deep into the 1990s, I was an
active organizer of many effective Native rights campaigns in the Northern
Plains -- e.g., Grand Forks, ND and the utterly racist reservation border
town of Devils Lake, ND.

In 1994, I retired as a full professor and former departmental chair from
the American Indian Studies Department at University of North Dakota. In due
course, we returned to the Mountain West -- and are presently based at
Pocatello, Idaho, where we are quite involved in various 'rights campaigns
and very much in the worsening situation regarding the extremely negative
city and state police.

I have written and published many articles -- and also one book: Jackson,
Mississippi: An American Chronicle of Struggle and Schism, 1979 with an
expanded Krieger edition in 1987.

I've been a bona fide working organizer since I was a Teen. [I will be to
the day I pass into the Spirit World.] And that kind of basic organizing
involves getting grassroots people together, developing on- going local
leadership, dealing effectively with grievances and individual/family
concerns, achieving basic organizational goals and developing new ones --
and building a sense of the New World Over The Mountains Yonder and how all
of that relates to the short-term steps. We learned a hell of a lot about
all of those critical dimensions during our great years in the Southern


Copyright © 2001
Last Modified: April 11, 2001.
(Labor donated)

Hunter Gray