A Time to SpeakSpeeches by Jack Reed

A Time to SpeakSpeeches by Jack Reed

Danny McKenzie

Print publication date: 2014

ISBN: 9781604731309

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi

Abstract

For more than fifty years, Jack Reed, Sr. (b. 1924) has been a voice of reason in Mississippi—speaking from his platform as a prominent businessman and taking leadership roles in education, race relations, economic and community development, and even church governance. Hardly one to follow the status quo, he always delivered his speeches with a large dose of good cheer. Reed’s audiences, though, did not always reciprocate, especially in his early years, when he spoke out on behalf of public education and racial equality. Reed’s willingness to participate in civic affairs and his oratorical skills led him to leadership roles at state, regional, and national levels—including the presidency of the Mississippi Economic Council, the chairmanship of President George H. W. Bush’s National Advisory Council on Education, and charter membership of the United Methodist Church Commission on Religion and Race. This book brings together more than a dozen of Reed’s speeches over a fifty-year period (1956–2007). The Tupelo businessman discusses the events surrounding his talks about race relations within his church, his deep involvement in education with his close friend Governor William Winter and with President George H. W. Bush, and his own campaign for governor as a Republican in 1987. The author places this original material in historical context. The book illustrates how a private citizen with courage can effect positive change.