The Archives of Women of the Southwest remembers Julia Scott Reed this July 17th on what would have been her 100th birthday. We are honored that Ms. Reed’s family placed her papers here at DeGolyer Library for future generations of scholars.
Dallas native Julia Scott Reed was born July 17, 1917, daughter of Johnnie and Nina McGee. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas, Texas, attended Wiley College, and graduated from Phillip’s Business School.
Early in her career Ms. Reed worked for the African-American newspaper The Dallas Express, where she often took her own photographs to accompany her articles. She eventually served as the paper’s city editor. For eight years she reported “News and Views” as a radio personality on Dallas radio station KNOK. In 1967, Ms. Reed became the first African-American writer to join the Dallas Morning News staff, and she also became the first African-American woman to join the Dallas Press Club and Dallas Altrusa Club. Her column “The Open Line” featured articles on community issues, politics, religion, race relations, and other current events.
Ms. Reed received numerous accolades and awards such as the Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club’s Extra Mile Award, the Maura Award, and Woman of the Year Award from both the Florence B. Brooks Club and the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She served on various boards, task forces, associations, and political campaigns including the NAACP, Social Welfare Association, various children’s and senior citizen advocacy groups, Precinct 335 chairperson, and Planned Parenthood to name a few. After she suffered a stroke in 1978, Ms. Reed was unable to continue her career as a newswoman and community advocate; however, her achievements and activism inspired generations of young women from her community including Dallas journalist Norma Adams-Wade.