Oral History with James "JR" Reed (R'81)

Dublin Core


Oral History with James "JR" Reed (R'81)


In this oral history interview, James Reed (R’81) sat down with Johnnette Johnson (’20) and Cole Richard (’21) on June 11, 2019, in Boatwright Memorial Library. Over the course of the one-hour interview, Reed spoke about his time as a football player and founding member of the University of Richmond’s first black fraternity Phi Beta Sigma. A DC native, Reed reflects on the mindset he carried upon matriculation and the lessons he learned upon graduation. He also searches to connect his experience to current students’ lived experience in terms of cultural inclusion.

James "JR" Reed, Jr. was born at Andrews AFB, right out of Washington DC. JR grew up in the Southeast section of Washington DC, in the Hillcrest neighborhood. He attended Archbishop Carroll High School, located in the Northwest section of DC. He played football and ran track during his four years there. JR graduated from Carroll in 1977 with a scholarship to play football at the University of Richmond (U of R). During his 4-year tenure at the U of R, he played football, he was a four-year ROTC cadet, and he started the first predominately Black fraternity at the U of R, (Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, INC.). He graduated in 1981 with a undergraduate degree in Business Economics and a US Army commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the Military Police Corps. During his 22 years of service, Reed also earned a Master's Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Information Systems from Troy State University. After retiring from service, Reed worked another 14 years within the Department of Defense, as a Contractor and Civil Servant. Presently, JR owns his own business as a Real Estate Investor. Currently, he resides in the Chesapeake, VA.


This oral history is available for academic purposes--including but not limited to research by students, faculty, and staff--by permission from the interviewee (James "JR" Reed). The interviewee maintains the copyright, and must be contacted via the Race & Racism Project (urraceproject@gmail.com) for permissions for use outside of academic purposes.







Richmond (Va.)

Oral History Item Type Metadata


James "JR" Reed


Boatwright Memorial Library Seminar Room 1
University of Richmond
261 Richmond Way, Richmond, VA 23173



Date of Interview

June 11, 2019



“Oral History with James "JR" Reed (R'81),” University of Richmond Race & Racism Project, accessed June 25, 2024, https://memory.richmond.edu/items/show/3072.