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Christopher R. Reed

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Information about Christopher R. Reed

Profile image of Christopher R. Reed

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
History Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Thank You, God.

Birthplace

Born:
1/11/1942
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
History Professor

Favorites

Favorite Color:
None
Favorite Food:
None
Favorite Time of Year:
None
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
Thank You, God.

Birthplace

Born:
1/11/1942
Birth Location:
Chicago
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Biography

Historical scholar, Christopher Robert Reed was born on January 11, 1942 in Chicago, Illinois to Robert and Josephine Reed. Reed’s maternal great grandfather served in the 116th Infantry of the United States Colored Troops during the Civil War and took part in the surrender of Robert E. Lee at Appomattox Court House in 1865. Growing up in East Garfield Park on Chicago’s West Side, Reed attended John Marshall Elementary School and graduated from John Marshall High School in 1959. Starting at Crane Junior College, Reed earned his B.A. and M.A. degrees in history from Roosevelt University in 1963 and 1968 respectively. While attending Roosevelt University, he met future colleagues John Bracey (professor of history at University of Massachusetts) and Juliet E. K. Walker (founder of the Center for Black Business History). The Roosevelt faculty included Charles V. Hamilton, August Meirer, St. Clair Drake and Lorenzo Dow Turner. At Roosevelt, Reed was also a member of the Negro History Club. From 1971 to 1980, he served as assistant professor of history at Northern Illinois University, and from 1980 to 1982, he served as Dean of Arts and Sciences at Malcolm X College (formerly Crane Community College). In 1982, Reed garnered his Ph.D. from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio.

From 1982 to 1987, Reed served as professor of Black Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He returned to Roosevelt University as professor of history in 1987 where he taught courses on North American Slavery, the History of Blacks in Chicago (1770 – 1960) and the History of Blacks in Chicago (1960 to the present). Reed is the author of a few books including The Chicago NAACP and the Rise of Black Professional Leadership, 1910-1966 in 1997; All the World is Here!: The Black Presence at White City, a book about African and African American participation in Chicago’s Columbian Exposition of 1893, in 2000; wrote the introduction for History of the Chicago Urban League (with Arvah E. Strickland) in 2001 and Black Chicago’s First Century, Volume 1, 1833-1900 in 2005. He retired from teaching in 2009.

Reed is often called upon as an expert on Chicago history and the history of black Chicago. He is a member of the East Garfield Park Coalition, the West of Western Housing Alliance, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Boys and Girls Club and was a member of the West Side Coalition for Unity and Political Action supporting the late Harold Washington. In 2001, at Roosevelt, he was the recipient of the St. Clair Drake Award for Outstanding Scholarship. Reed, Chicago’s Black History Forum, keeps his great grandfathers’ Army discharge papers in a bank vault. Reed is married and lives in the Chicago area.

Reed was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on December 17, 2009.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Christopher R. Reed's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed describes her mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed talks about his family's migration to Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed describes his mother's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed talks about the history of Arkansas
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed describes his father's move to East St. Louis, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Christopher R. Reed remembers his father's occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Christopher R. Reed describes the South Side of Chicago, Illinois during the 1930s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Christopher R. Reed describes his parents' marriages
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed describes his parents' personalities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed talks about his parents' political involvement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed talks about the history of housing discrimination on the South Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed describes his earliest memory of racial discrimination
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed talks about his parents' divorce
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed recalls Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Christopher R. Reed recalls the encouragement of his community
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed describes his early knowledge of black history
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed remembers the influence of African American historians
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed describes Jesse "Pop" Helton
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed remembers the black-owned businesses on State Street in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed describes his research on Jean Baptiste Point du Sable
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed describes the plans for DuSable Park in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed remembers his activities at Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Christopher R. Reed recalls his teachers at Marshall High School
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Christopher R. Reed talks about community organizing on the West Side of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed recalls his aspiration to attend Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed describes the changes in Chicago's city college system
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed remembers the black history scholars at Roosevelt University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed recalls founding the Negro History Club at Roosevelt University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed remembers St. Clair Drake and Lorenzo Turner
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed describes the chairmen emeriti of the Black Chicago History Forum
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed describes the scholarship on the black history of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Christopher R. Reed talks about the black historical archives in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Christopher R. Reed describes his education at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed recalls his Ph.D. degree program at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed describes his doctoral dissertation
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed recalls teaching at Northern Illinois University in DeKalb, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed remembers Harold Washington's mayoral campaign
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed recalls debating with future President Barack Obama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed reflects upon his scholarly work
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed describes the black political leadership of Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Christopher R. Reed recalls the tenure of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Christopher R. Reed talks about African Americans' participation in the World's Columbian Exposition
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Christopher R. Reed describes the importance of history
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Christopher R. Reed describes his hopes for his scholarship
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Christopher R. Reed talks about the history of the black business community in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Christopher R. Reed reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Christopher R. Reed describes his hopes for the education of African American youth
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Christopher R. Reed reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Christopher R. Reed describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Christopher R. Reed talks about his family
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Christopher R. Reed describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Christopher R. Reed narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 10 - Christopher R. Reed narrates his photographs, pt. 2