October 4


October 4, 1942 Bernice Johnson Reagon, singer, composer, scholar, and social activist, was born in Albany, Georgia. Reagon was an active participant in the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s as a member of the Freedom Singers organized by the Student Non-violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). Reagon earned her undergraduate degree from Spelman College in 1970 and her Ph. D. from Howard University in 1975. In 1973, she founded Sweet Honey in the Rock, an a cappella ensemble of African American women singers which earned international acclaim for their sophisticated harmonies, socially conscious repertoire, and captivating performances. Reagon retired from the group in 2004. She is a specialist in African American oral history, performance and protest traditions, and the producer and narrator of the Peabody Award winning radio series “Wade in the Water, African American Sacred Music Traditions.” She is also Professor Emeritus of History at American University, Curator Emeritus at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History, and from 2002 to 2004 was Cosby Chair Professor of Fine Arts at Spelman College. In 1995, President William Clinton presented Reagon with the Charles Frankel Prize for her contributions to the public understanding of the humanities. In 2009, Reagon received an honorary doctoral degree from the Berklee College of Music.


About Author

Leave A Reply