Letter from Milton A. Reid to George M. Modlin and Replies

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Letter from Milton A. Reid to George M. Modlin and Replies


This document is a collection of correspondence between President George M. Modlin and Minister Milton A. Reid of the First Baptist Church in Petersburg, Virginia. Reid applied to the T.C Williams Schools of Law in 1960, despite the segregation policy still in place at the time. On July 5, 1960, Reid wrote to Modlin: “In this era of sociological change, if it is felt that a Negro might be admitted on a trial basis, I am going to be selfish enough to suggest to you that ‘I am he.’” Reid then told Modlin of his past achievements--serving four years in the Army, spending many years as a religious counselor to youth, and A.B. and B.D. degrees from Virginia Union University. On August 24, 1960, Modlin replied stating again the university’s segregation policy, but told Reid: “If the University’s policy is changed in the near future, I am sure that we would be proud to have a man like you as the first Negro to enroll in our Law school.”  Reid followed up on May 7, 1962, asking again to be considered for acceptance into the law school.  Dean Muse of the Law School forwarded the correspondence to President Modlin, noting “I regret, even more, to say that the letter concerns a potential application from a Negro.

It should be noted that Milton A. Reid was a prominent civil rights activist in Virginia, founding the Virginia chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and challenging segregation in Petersburg through non-violent protest, including an incident in which he was arrested for a sit-in at the white-only area of the Petersburg bus terminal café.  He worked closely with Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. during his visits to Virginia.  For more on Reid, read his obituary here.


Reid, Milton A. Milton A. Reid to George M. Modlin, May 27, 1960. Letter. From Virginia Baptist Historical Society. The George M. Modlin Papers.


May 27, 1960-May 11, 1962


Madeleine Jordan-Lord


RG Box 29, Folder 13


Virginia Baptist Historical Society, George M. Modlin Papers





Milton A. Reid, Minister , “Letter from Milton A. Reid to George M. Modlin and Replies,” University of Richmond Race & Racism Project, accessed May 24, 2024, https://memory.richmond.edu/items/show/436.