Jack Reed Still Sharing Wisdom

By: Ashley Porter Email
By: Ashley Porter Email

A man who's been giving speeches for over 50 years has put those writings into a book, hoping to help people reflect on the past.

While on the state board of education, Jack Reed spoke in favor of school integration when it was largely unpopular in Mississippi.

"And how well this school integration is carried out will determine how well this community gets along, socially, economically, and in every other way," said Reed. "I wouldn't be afraid to say those things today, for one thing."

Reed ran for governor as a Republican in 1987.

"This certainly wasn't popular with the legislature at that time," said Reed.

Now, the 85-year-old is re-reading decades of speeches to spread a different message.

"Some of the people that don't really appreciate what we've been through now, who are disillusioned and think things can't get any worse, you know, they can get worse," said Reed. "We have made progress in Mississippi."

Some of his words are rooted in the past.

"The city of Tupelo is going to have to effectively integrate our entire school system.

Others sound like they could be spoken today.

"Concern ourselves here and now with the welfare of our fellow man and balance our own aspirations accordingly," said Reed. "I'm not as able as I once was."

But Reed said he will channel the ability he does have into making those speeches.

"One on Veterans Day in which I'm going to say that we've got a great country, with a great heritage, and we'll see this thing through and we'll survive," Reed said.

Reed also led the state's economic council for a number of years.

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