- NAME: Frederick D. Reese
- OCCUPATION: Civil Rights Activist
- BIRTH DATE: November 28, 1929 (Age: 84)
- EDUCATION: Alabama State University, Livingston University, Southern University, University of Alabama, Auburn University, Selma University
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Dallas County, Alabama
- Full Name: Frederick D. Reese
- AKA: Frederick Reese
- ZODIAC SIGN: Sagittarius
Best Known For
Frederick D. Reese is a civil rights activist who advocated African-American voters' rights in Selma, Alabama, and marched with Reverend Martin Luther King Jr.
Bloody Sunday (4:04)
On Sunday, March 21, 1965, nearly 8,000 people began the five-day march from Selma to Montgomery for voting rights.
On March 7, 1965 around 600 people crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge in an attempt to begin the Selma to Montgomery march. State troopers violently attacked the peaceful demonstrators in an attempt to stop the march for voting rights.
Sheyann Webb became involved with the Civil Rights Movement when she was 8 years old. On March 7, 1965, Webb was the youngest participant in the civil rights demonstration that became known as "Bloody Sunday."
Think you know about Biography?
Answer questions and see how you rank against other players.Play Now
Frederick D. Reese was born on November 28, 1929, in Dallas County, Alabama. Reese rose to national prominence as a civil rights leader after Selma's "Bloody Sunday." He later marched with Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. from Selma to Montgomery as an advocate of African-American voter registration rights.
"In 1965, I would not have thought I'd get a chance to walk across the [Edmund Pettus Bridge] in celebration. I marched so everyone, regardless of color, could become a first-class citzen."
"I was exercising a freedom I never thought possible, in both my mind and heart. So many people have given so much to get our nation to this point. And we're not 100 percent yet."
Frederick D. Reese was born on November 28, 1929, in Dallas County, Alabama. Reese graduated from Alabama State University and Livingston University. He also studied at the University of Alabama, Southern University and Auburn University before receiving his doctorate of divinity from Selma University.
By the mid-1960s, Reese was the president of the Dallas County Voter's League and a teacher who presided over the Selma Teachers Association. Discouraged by Selma's efforts to hinder voter registration for African Americans, Reese advocated that teachers press the issue. Reese invited Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. and his Southern Christian Leadership Conference to lead Selma's voting rights protest. King's staff helped organize months of demonstrations.
On March 7, 1965, Reese and more than 600 other activists marched over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. The day would live in infamy as "Bloody Sunday" after protestors were beaten and sprayed with tear gas per the orders of Alabama Governor George Wallace.
Following the violence that day, the majority of the marchers congregated at the Brown Chapel AME Church, where Reese spoke to the crowd. Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. called Reese from Atlanta with news that he was organizing a march involving ministers from all over the country. On March 21, 1965, more than 50,000 people marched the 50 miles from Selma's Brown Chapel AME Church to Alabama's state capitol, Montgomery. Reese marched hand-in-hand with King, and his front-row presence made him a symbol of and leader in the Civil Rights Movement.
The event would prompt president Lyndon B. Johnson to ratify the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965. The law worked to undo state-sanctioned obstacles that prevented African Americans from registering to vote, especially in the South.
Despite the national attention he received, Reese remained committed to education. He became a principal and a city councilman, serving 12 years on the Selma City Council. He also ran for mayor in 1984, though he was defeated by Joe Smitherman, and led a campaign to motivate Wal-Mart executives to hire African Americans as store managers.
In 2000, in honor of his civil rights work, a stretch of more than three miles of U.S. Route 80, where he marched to Montgomery, was named the Frederick D. Reese Parkway. The F.D. Reese Christian Academy in Kokomo, Indiana, was also dedicated to him.
Reese has been the pastor of Selma's Ebenezer Baptist Church since 1965. Although he is retired from teaching, he still works as a Baptist minister and delivers a sermon to his congregation each week.
© 2014 A+E Networks. All rights reserved.
profile name: Frederick D. Reese profile occupation:
Sign in with Facebook to see how you and your friends are connected to famous icons.
Your Friends' Connections
Included In These Groups
Famous Sagittarians 607 people in this group
African-Americans have a long history of activism in America, from fighting for the right to vote to pushing for integrated public spaces. Activists like Stokely Carmichael organized freedom rides, James Meredith fought to integrate blacks and whites at the University of Mississippi, and Rosa Parks instigated the Montgomery Bus Boycott. These protests were often legal and nonviolent, and made a powerful impact on civil rights in the United States. With the help of activists like these—and many others—the country slowly worked to acknowledge the basic rights and contributions of African-Americans. Activists outisde of the U.S. include Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, who have fought against apartheid in South Africa. Learn more about the many black activists who fought against the odds in order to achieve equality.
Famous Black Activists 160 people in this group
"Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love." Stated by legendary civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr., these words represent a basic human philosophy to which black history's greatest leaders have passionately subscribed. Learn more about the world's most revered civil rights activists, known for their fight against social injustices and lasting impact on the lives of black citizens, including Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nelson Mandela, Nina Simone, Mary McLeod Bethune, Lena Horne, Marva Collins, Rosa Parks, W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr.
Famous Civil Rights Activists 186 people in this group