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.
"During a time when America was convulsing internally from the struggles of black Americans to gain their full and equal constitutional rights, Cecil Reed, as a black political leader, was proving to Iowa and America that the color of a person's skin has nothing to do with their natural leadership abilities. Fly in the Buttermilk is a moving experience of one man's triumphs over adversity of all kinds and his ultimate victory as a black American. I highly recommend this book to every American."—Harold E. Hughes