A visual artist, poet, and performer, Thomas James Reddy was born in Savannah, Georgia, on the 8th of August in 1945. He and his family moved from the Deep South to New York City when he was 14. He then transitioned to Charlotte, N.C. to study at Johnson C. Smith University when he was 19, and later transferred to the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he helped to found the Black Student Union as well as the African and Afro-American Studies Department. During the 1960’s, he was active in Civil Rights activism, protesting the Vietnam War, and opposing the intensive military draft activities in the black community. Reddy received his B.A. in History in 1974, and then a Master’s in Education in ’77, three years later. In the late 1980s, he studied painting in the Master’s of Fine Arts program at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina.