Adolph L. Reed Jr. ’71

Adolph L. Reed Jr.Adolph Reed, a professor of political science emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania, is a renowned scholar whose work has been described by other eminent scholars as offering “counterintuitive insights and wit” while inspiring readers to “think anew about the prospects for building a more humane world.”

As an undergraduate at Carolina, Reed was involved in the anti-war and civil rights movements on campus and supported the University food workers’ strike of 1968-69. After graduating, he attended Atlanta University, where he earned a master’s degree and doctorate in political science.

Much of Reed’s work has focused on the social inequality and economic insecurity experienced by the Black American working class and the mechanisms that create and sustain inequality. As a professor, he taught courses in race and 20th century political thought; power, culture and American cities; and labor in postwar American politics. Prior to joining the University of Pennsylvania, he held faculty positions at Emory, Howard, Northwestern and Yale. Throughout his career, he published numerous books and essays on race, class, politics and culture, and he has continued to be a prolific writer in retirement, with two recently published books: “No Politics but Class Politics,” a co-authored collection of recent essays, and “The South: Jim Crow and its Afterlives,” a narrative account of the Jim Crow era as people experienced it. He has at least three more books currently in progress.

Reed’s awards include the Norton Long Career Achievement Award, from the Urban and Local Politics Section of the American Political Science Association, and the National Conference of Black Political Scientists’ Outstanding Book Award, for W.E.B. Du Bois and American Political Thought.