Dr. Reginald Ellis

Co-Chair, Civics, History, & America's Future

Dr. Reginald K. Ellis is the Provost Professor of Community Outreach, Engagement and Research and Associate Professor of History and African-American Studies at Florida A&M University. He received a Bachelor of Science in African American Studies and a Master’s degree in United States History Since 1865, both from Florida A&M University. He earned his Ph.D. in U.S. History from the University of Memphis.

Dr. Ellis’s first manuscript, Between Washington and Du Bois: The Racial Politics of James Edward Shepard, is scheduled for release in  November 2017. This work is an analytical biography of James Edward Shepard, the founding President of North Carolina Central University, located in Durham, North Carolina. Dr. Ellis specializes in the history of Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and African American Leaders during the Jim Crow era. His primary area of concentration is African American History, with three minor areas of concentration – United States History Since 1877, Contemporary African History, and Oral History.

Along with his research on black college presidents, Dr. Ellis’s co-edited anthology on the long civil rights movement, entitled The Seedtime, the Work, and the Harvest: New Perspectives on the Black Freedom Struggle in America, was released in February 2018. Ellis, along with his co-editors, have another anthology Fighting for the Soul of a Nation: Black American’s Struggle to Keep American Democracy Alive, which is scheduled to be released in 2024. His current book project, Black Education Equal Black Freedom: A Defense of Black Higher Education, is under contract with W. W. Norton Press and scheduled for completion in 2025.

In the Fall of 2011, Dr. Ellis was hired as an Assistant Professor of History at Florida A&M University, and in August of 2017, he earned the rank of Tenured Associate Professor of History, where he teaches the following courses: Black Americans in the 20th Century; Introduction to African American History; The African American Experience; The History of Florida; and Selected Topics in the Twentieth Century. Due to his exemplary instruction, Florida A&M University named Dr. Ellis their 2016-2017 Teacher of the Year.

Along with his teaching responsibility, he has remained active as a researcher and scholar.

Dr. Ellis has remained active with several organizations. He is the founding president of the Graduate Association for African American History (GAAAH), which currently hosts the African American History conference at the University of Memphis. He also served as a teaching fellow for the ACE Academy Institute, sponsored by the Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change at the University of Memphis. During the summer of 2013, he served as a research fellow at the W. E. B. Du Bois’ African American History Institute at Harvard University. Dr. Ellis served as a councilman on the American Historical Association Tuning Council in the Professional Division from 2020 until 2023.

Dr. Ellis is the former chair of the Board of Directors for the John G. Riley Center and Museum, a member of the Gamma Mu Lambda Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, Leadership Tallahassee Class 31, a former member of The North Florida Leadership Academy, The Friends of the Leon County Public Library, The Legal Aid Foundation and a host of historical associations including the American Historical Association, Association for the Study of African American Life and History (ASALH), the Southern Conference on African and African American Studies, Incorporated (SCAASI), the Organization of American Historians (OAH), and the Florida Humanities Council. Dr. Ellis is incredibly proud to serve as the co-chair of the Civics & America’s Future Advisory Council for America250, the semi-quincentennial celebration of the United States of America.

Dr. Ellis is married to Delexis C. Ellis, a graduate of Florida A&M University, and they are the proud parents  of Eva J. and Raila K. Ellis.