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Happy Birthday Ira Reid!

(July 2, 1901 - August 15, 1968)

Ira Reid and Students on the Haverford College Campus before Coeducation

The BlackQuaker Project recognizes the legendary scholarship and activism of Ira De Augustine Reid and celebrates his birthday today, 2 July. Below is an excerpt from Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights that covers his life and many accomplishments (written by Harold (Hal) D. Weaver):

“Ira De Augustine Reid held degrees from three institutions: a B.A. from Morehouse College (1922), an M.A. from the University of Pittsburgh (1925), and a Ph.D. in sociology from Columbia University (1929). Reid contributed to an understanding of race relations, adult education, Southern sharecropping, and immigration. Among his six books are Negro Membership in American Labor Unions (1930), Adult Education Among Negroes (1930), Sharecroppers All (coauthored with Arthur Raper, 1941), and The Negro Immigrant, posthumously published in 1969. He lectured and advised the United States government and such social service agencies as the American Friends Service Committee on a range of subjects, including education, human resources, youth services, and social security.

In his academic appointments as a professor of sociology, Reid was a forerunner in the desegregation of the faculties of Northern higher education by scholars from historically black colleges in the South.[...]During the McCarthy Era, Reid was erroneously labeled a Communist by a Pennsylvania politician in 1949, leading to the seizure of his passport by the U.S. State Department. Reid joined the Society of Friends (Quakers) in 1950. In honor of his scholarship, teaching, and contributions to peace and justice in the United States and abroad, Reid received honorary doctorates from Haverford and Morehouse. He died from cancer on August 15, 1968”

To learn more about Ira Reid and view his collected scholarly works, please consider reading Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights, edited by Harold D. Weaver, Jr., Paul Kriese, and Stephen W. Angell.


Source: Harold D. Weaver, Jr., Paul Kriese, and Stephen W. Angell, eds. Black Fire: African American Quakers on Spirituality and Human Rights. Philadelphia: Quaker Press of Friends General Conference, 2011.



The BlackQuaker Project (1) celebrates the lives and contributions of Quakers of Color worldwide and (2) documents and addresses their concerns. It is an outreach and in-reach ministry of Wellesley Friends Meeting, guided by the Quaker testimonies of Truth, Peace, Equality, Community, and Justice.


T: 617-281-8907


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