Audrey Louise Ross Grevious was born on September 3, 1930 in Lexington, Kentucky. She attended Constitution Elementary School and junior and senior high at Paul Laurence Dunbar located at 545 North Upper Street. Grevious attended Kentucky State College in 1948, where she became more aware of the “shortcomings … in Lexington.” Here, Audrey earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in elementary education, and later earned a Master’s degree in administration from Eastern Kentucky University in Richmond, Kentucky. Growing up, Audrey didn’t notice the segregation, thinking that “things were different but not so unpleasant.”
Many students from the North would talk about the differences between the North and the South and the things they were exposed to growing up. Audrey said, “And this was a bad state to be in, I think, growing up, in that you were aware there were many, many things that could be better. You did not know how to go about making these changes.”
Audrey’s family was very close, even without a father in the picture. She admired her mother for working hard and being able to provide for the family without a man in charge of the household. In fact, most black communities looked out for each other, whether it was among the neighbors or watching over children in the neighborhood. Nonetheless, Audrey’s family was not well off, but she learned to appreciate the few things she had. She had a brother two years younger than her who was strong-headed. Her mother was very protective of him, though he eventually joined the military and took up the maiden name of their father’s wife: Robert Ross Jefferson instead of Robert Thomas Ross.
To pay for college, Audrey babysat, cleaned houses, washed, and cooked. While she was in college, her mother worked two jobs. “I spent very little time studying, getting “B’s” instead of the “A’s”” so Audrey decided to leave college and work with an African-American printing shop. She began as a secretary for the Town Crier, a local black newspaper founded by a minister. Working with this newspaper made her more aware of the limitations faced by African Americans in Lexington.
After graduation, Audrey Grevious taught at the Kentucky Village, and later became principal of this state reformatory for delinquent boys. Following the closing of the school, she taught in Fayette County Public Schools, where she remained until she retired. Grevious is also a member of the board of the Community Reinvestment Housing Project, which provides counseling to first-time homebuyers, a member of the board and the former president of Kentucky Tech, and was the secretary of her church, St. Paul AME. According to a 2002 interview conducted by the Kentucky Historical Society, Grevious loves fried chicken and the color black. Her favorite quote to date is “Anything I want to do I can do it. It may take a little longer but I’ll do it”. Undoubtedly, this quote showcases her vibrant spirit and commitment to the cause of equality and civil rights in Lexington, Kentucky.
Program from Audrey Grevious’ high school graduation:
Table of Contents
- About Audrey Grevious
- Additional Resources
- Audrey’s Voice
- Community Activism —- Charles Young Community Center, Douglass Park, Tensions in Lexington
- Experience as an Educator
- Work with the NAACP and CORE of Lexington
Return to the home page of Kentucky Women in the Civil Rights Era.