Alma Speed Fox was born in
1923 in Cleveland, Ohio and raised by a
single mother who worked as a seamstress.
They lived in a close-knit African American
community in Cleveland. Alma attended integrated,
neighborhood schools and was instrumental
in recruiting the first African Americans
to perform at her high school's annual assembly.
Alma graduated from John Hay High School
in 1942, got married and worked in a variety
of service jobs while her husband served
in World War II. He died accidently in 1946.
She married Gerald Fox in 1949 and they
moved to Pittsburgh, his hometown. In addition
to his two sons from a former marriage,
Alma and Gerald Fox have a son and two daughters.
Alma has been committed to civil rights
and women's rights since her youth. She
became actively involved in the Pittsburgh
Branch of the NAACP in the 1950s when she
joined in demonstrations against the Duquesne
Light Company. She served as Executive Director
of the NAACP from 1966 to 1971 and as Eastern
area equal opportunity manager for U. S.
Department of Interior, Bureau of Mines
from 1971 to 1983, and has been a member
of the Pittsburgh Human Relations Commission
active in the community as executive vice
president of Freedom Unlimited, which she
co-founded in the 1960's, and as a member
of both the boards of the Pittsburgh branch
of the NAACP and of Gwen's Girls. She's
proud to report that she has participated
in virtually every march from Freedom Corner
since it was established in the 1960s.
a major demonstration against Sears and
Roebuck in 1968 demanding access to jobs
and credit for African Americans. The demonstrations
began in the spring and continued through
the winter. Several members of the newly
formed Greater Pittsburgh Area chapter of
the National Organization for Women (NOW)
had been active members of the NAACP and
joined with protesters on the picket lines.
These NOW members had shown themselves to
be sincere friends and when they invited
her to join NOW, Alma's initial response
was, "I have one revolution going on,
I don't need another. So, no, I will not
join NOW," she revealed during In Sisterhood
interview in 2008. But, through her friends,
she said, "I got a different idea about
discrimination, the greater idea of discrimination.
So I became very active with NOW."
She was convener and President of the East
Hills NOW chapter, Co-Chair of the Governor's
Commission of the Status of Women and a
member of the national board of NOW. She
served as a Pennsylvania delegate to the
National Women's Conference in 1978. In
2007, she received the Wilma Scott Heide
Pioneer Feminist Award from the Pennsylvania
chapter of NOW for her pioneering work to
advance equal rights for both African Americans