Dr. Linda Reed is a noted scholar in African American history, with a particular interest in women and the South. She also served nine years as the Director of the University of Houston's African American Studies Program at the University of Houston. Between 2001 and 2003, Dr. Reed was the National Director for the Association of Black Women Historians. She has received fellowships from the University of North Carolina, the University of Michigan, the Ford Foundation, and Princeton University. She received her Ph.D. from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Dr. Reed teaches courses in America to 1865, America since 1865, and Blacks in the Western Hemisphere. She also teaches courses in Women in the Civil Rights Movement, Desegregation of the South, and African American Women in Slavery and Freedom. Her graduate courses include Introduction to Graduate Studies in U.S. History and Transformation of the South, 1880-1980.
Her book, Simple Decency and Common Sense: The Southern Conference Movement, 1938-1963, concentrates on the forgotten years of the civil rights movement. Professor Reed is also co-editor, along with Darlene Clark Hine and Wilma King, of "We Specialize in the Wholly Impossible": A Reader in Black Women's History. Both books have been prize winners.
Professor Reed is one of the editors of a forthcoming book of essays, “George Liele: His Life and Legacy” (Atlanta: Mercer University Press, forthcoming). The life and work of George Liele encompass a great legacy in American history. Liele lived an atypical experience of a person of African descent in colonial America. Among the few persons of his hue to become free, he learned to read and write. Beyond breaking that restrictive barrier for African Americans, Liele became a great preacher and preached to enslaved persons as well as colonial whites in South Carolina and Georgia in the 1770s. Certainly, his preaching alone set him apart from other African Americans of his time, and his permission to spread the gospel to white colonials significantly placed him in the realm of extraordinariness. People who heard his message of the gospel felt compelled to give their life to Christ, as was the case of David George and Andrew Bryan, two of his converts who took the received message and their conversion experience to Nova Scotia and Sierra Leone. Since these three Christians lived to evangelize the Baptist faith in Jamaica, Nova Scotia, and Sierra Leone, Liele’s life and work take on an international scope. The publication of “George Liele: His Life and Legacy” is revisionist history. No longer will historians and other scholars be able to declare that the A.M. E, through the leadership of Richard Allen and Absolom Jones, is the oldest black denomination in American history. Liele’s religious work and preaching in the 1770s took place some ten to fifteen years prior to Allen and Jones’s departure from the Methodist church in the 1880s.
Professor Reed is completing a manuscript with a co-author entitled "Black Women in America, 1619-2001" (Malden, MA: Blackwell Publishers), and her work entitled "I'm Sick and Tired of Being Sick and Tired: The Life and Times of Fannie Lou Hamer," is a biography of the influential Mississippi civil rights activist, whose oratory is comparable to that Martin Luther King, Jr.
Simple Decency and Common Sense: The Southern Conference Movement,1938-1963 (Indiana Univ. Press, 1991). Winner of the Letitia Woods Brown Memorial Book Award, October 1992, from the ABWH.
“From Freedom to Freedom: The Modern-Day Civil Rights Movement in Historical Perspective,” (Proquest Information and Learning Group, Forthcoming).
“The Brown Decision: Its Long Anticipation and Lasting Influence,” Journal of Southern History: LXX May 2004, pp. 337-342. (Solicited essay as part of a scholarly forum in commemoration of the Brown decision after 50 years.)
“Fannie Lou Hamer,” biographical entry in Notable American Women: A Biographical Dictionary Completing the Twentieth Century, ed. by Susan Ware (The Belknap Press of Harvard University Press, 2004), 68-71.
“Fannie Lou Hamer: A Mississippi Voice for American Democracy” in Mississippi Women of Achievement, Volume I, ed. by Elizabeth A. Payne, Martha Swain, and Marjorie Spruill (University of Georgia Press, 2003).
"Fannie Lou Hamer: New Ideas for the Civil Rights Movement and American Democracy," in The Role of Ideas in the Civil Rights-Era South (University Press of Mississippi, 2002).
- "Mary McLeod Bethune," and "The Southern Conference Movement: The Southern Conference for Human Welfare and the Southern Conference Educational Fund" in The Eleanor Roosevelt Encyclopedia, ed. by Maurine H. Beasley, Holly C. Shulman, and Henry R. Beasley (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 2001).