Bernice Johnson Reagon (1942–73) is a singer, composer, scholar, and social activist, who founded the a cappella ensemble Sweet Honey in the Rock in 1973. The daughter of Baptist minister J.J. and Beatrice Johnson, Bernice was born and raised in southwest Georgia, where music was an integral part of life. She entered Albany State College in 1959 where she began her study of music. She also became active in the local NAACP chapter and then the SNCC. After being expelled from Albany State because of an arrest for her civil rights activism, she attended Spelman College briefly. Later, she returned to Spelman to complete her undergraduate degree in 1970. She then received a Ford Foundation fellowship to study at Howard University, where she was awarded the Ph.D. degree in 1975.