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ASU Mourns the Loss of Alumnus Frederick D. Reese

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Author: Ken Mullinax

Release Date: Apr 06, 2018

Alabama State University Alumnus Rev. Frederick D. Reese was one of America's civil rights giants.

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Alabama State University is sad to announce the passing of one of its most illustrious and renowned alumni, Selma's Rev. Frederick Douglas Reese (’51).

"America has lost a giant of a man with the passing of ASU and Selma's Rev. Frederick Douglas Reese,” said Alabama State University President Quinton T. Ross Jr. “Rev. Reese was a man of great courage who dared to take a stand against institutionalized racism and segregation in Selma, and by so doing, helped win the right to vote for all of the nation's African-American citizens."

Upon his graduation from Alabama State University, Rev. Reese began teaching in 1952 and retired in February 2015. He was the recipient of the U. S. Congressional Gold Medal for his leadership in Selma and Dallas County's civil and voting rights movement in the 1960s. He also was portrayed in the movie "Selma."

"This humble math teacher with a heart of gold, who credited his professors at ASU with inspiring him to work for equal justice for all of America's citizens, is remembered as one of Selma's ‘Courageous Eight.’ He organized and led the Dallas County Voters League despite the threats and brutality of Selma's sheriff and the KKK. It was Rev. Reese who invited Dr. King and the SCLC to join the movement in Selma after the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson, which gave birth to the 1965 Selma to Montgomery March and ultimately, the passage of the1965 Voting Rights Act. Reese was a giant among men and will be missed," Ross said.

In 2017, Reese retired as a minister at Selma's Ebenezer Missionary Baptist Church.

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