An Anniston attorney on Tuesday will give the keynote speech at Alabama State University’s annual Black History Month Convocation.
Cleophus “Cleo” Thomas Jr. graduated from Anniston High School in 1973 and continued on to graduate from the University of Alabama in 1977. While at UA, Thomas was elected Student Government Association president in 1976, the first black man to win the position. Years later, Thomas became the first black member of UA’s board of trustees, on which he served for 19 years.
After graduation, Thomas received the George C. Marshall Scholarship to attend the University of Oxford in England. He later graduated from the university in 1980 with a degree in philosophy, politics and economics, according to the news release.
Two years later Thomas graduated from the Harvard School of Law and went on to serve as a law clerk to U.S. District Judge J. Foy Guin until 1983. Thomas also served as chief legal counsel to Birmingham businessman and civil rights activist A.G. Gaston.
Thomas currently practices law in Anniston and is married to Dr. Carla Thomas.
The 11 a.m. event at the Ralph D. Abernathy College of Education’s auditorium in Montgomery is free and open to the public, according to the news release.