Jesse Gray (May 14, 1923 – January 2, 1988) was an American civil rights leader and politician from New York.
He organized protests of tenants against conditions in Harlem's slum areas in the 1950s. In November 1963, he led a widespread rent strike. To emphasize bad conditions and infestation with vermin, the tenants caught rats in their tenements and showed them to the judge of the New York City Civil Court. No measures were taken to better the conditions, and the protesters rioted the next year.
He became head of the Community Council for Housing, and organized the National Tenants Organization. He also entered politics as a Democrat. In 1969, he ran unsuccessfully for the New York City Council. In 1970, he challenged Congressman Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., but was defeated. Gray was elected to the New York State Assembly (70th D.) in November 1972, and was a member in 1973 and 1974. In 1974, he ran for re-nomination, but was defeated in the Democratic primary.
- GRAY, JESSE W." at Social Security Info
- "Red Seas - Ferdinand Smith and Radical Black Sailors in the United States and Jamaica - Books - NYU Press - NYU Press". nyupress.org.
- "No Place Like Home". Time. 1964-07-31. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- Noel, Peter (1999-09-01). "By Any Means (Unnecessary)". Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2006-11-08. Retrieved 2007-11-26.
- Jesse Gray, 64, Leader Of Harlem Rent Strikes in the New York Times on April 5, 1988
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