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About My Father: Frank D. Reeves

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My Father: Frank D. Reeves
Frank D. Reeves 1916-1973

Frank D. Reeves (1916-1973) was my Father. In addition, a lawyer and civil rights activist who was part of the team that shaped the landmark Brown v. Board of Education (1954) lawsuit that rendered segregated schools unconstitutional and mandated school desegregation throughout the United States

Reeves was born in Montreal Canada and educated in New York City, before moving to Washington D.C. He lived with his family at 322 Division Ave. NE and graduated from Dunbar High School.

He earned undergraduate and law degrees at Howard University. After receiving his law degree in 1939, Reeves worked for the NAACP in New York City.

In the 1950s, he worked with Thurgood Marshall, James Nabrit, and others on the battle to desegregate public schools. 

He was the first African American chosen to sit on the DC Board of Commissioners, the three-man panel that ran the city from 1874 until limited home rule was instituted in 1967. He declined the appointment. 

In 1960, Reeves became the first African American member of the Democratic National Committee. He served as an advisor on minority affairs to Senator John F. Kennedy during his campaign for the presidency and than served as an advisor on minority affairs for President Kennedy

Reeves taught at the Howard University School of Law during the 1960s. At the same time, he was legal counsel to the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) and helped negotiate the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom as well as the Poor Peoples Campaign in 1967. Reeves was known for taking pro bono, or free, cases and organized others to do the same as part of Neighborhood Legal Services at Howard University. 

He co-founded the National Conference of Black Lawyers, committed to struggle against racism through the use of the law. He also founded the Joint Center for Political Studies. 

 The Frank D Reeves Center for Municipal Affairs at 14th and U streets, NW, was named in his honor when it opened in 1986.


PAPERS OF THE NAACP. About my father Frank D Reeves

Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center
Frank D. Reeves Municipal Center


Frank D. Reeves, Henry L. Marsh, III, and Samuel W. Tucker
Shown here on June 18, 1964, NAACP lawyers (left to right) Frank D. Reeves, Henry L. Marsh, III, and Samuel W. Tucker were actively involved in the litigation to force the reopening of the Prince Edward County school system on an integrated basis. Courtesy
Richmond Times-Dispatch

My Father and Mother with my Sister and Me(Daniel)


My Father and Nixon with 2nd Mrs Reeves