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History

University of Iowa

African American legislators

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Fly In The Buttermilk: The Life Story Of Cecil Reed, Cecil Reed, Priscilla Donovan Jan 1993

Fly In The Buttermilk: The Life Story Of Cecil Reed, Cecil Reed, Priscilla Donovan

Singular Lives: The Iowa Series in North American Autobiography

Born in 1913 in Collinsville, Illinois, Cecil Reed has lived all his life in the Midwest as a black man among whites. This self-styled fly in the buttermilk worked among whites with such skill and grace that they were barely aware of his existence—unless he wanted to get a bank loan or move into their neighborhood. Now, in his lively and optimistic autobiography, he speaks of his resilience throughout a life spent working peacefully but passionately for equality.