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Marvis Kneeland Jones

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Information about Marvis Kneeland Jones

Profile image of Marvis Kneeland Jones

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Elementary School Teacher
Public Relations Manager

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Birthday
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
God Help Me.

Birthplace

Born:
2/1/1941
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
EducationMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist
Elementary School Teacher
Public Relations Manager

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Salad
Favorite Time of Year:
Birthday
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
God Help Me.

Birthplace

Born:
2/1/1941
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Marvis Kneeland Jones is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Elementary school teacher, travel agent, and public relations manager Marvis Kneeland-Jones was born on February 1, 1941 in Chicago, Illinois. She was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and graduated from Hamilton High School with honors. After the landmark Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education mandated the desegregation of the Southern school system, Kneeland-Jones was among the first eight African American students to pass the entrance exam and enroll in Memphis State University. She and her fellow students eventually became known as the Memphis State Eight.

Kneeland-Jones graduated from Memphis State University with her B.S. degree in elementary education in 1974, after a four-year hiatus caused in part by the neglect and discrimination she experienced in her time there. During her time at Memphis State, Kneeland-Jones worked as a secretary for the NAACP. She went on to receive her M.S. degree in education and teach in the Memphis Public School system for the next twenty-five years. Kneeland-Jones also organized voter registration drives in Shelby County and worked to help her husband, Rufus E. Jones, run a successful campaign for State Representative in Tennessee, a position he held for sixteen years. Upon retirement from teaching, Kneeland-Jones went to work as Public Relations Manager for the government relations consulting company REJ & Associates, which her husband had founded.

Kneeland-Jones has been involved with numerous charitable and civic organizations, among them the Links Inc., the Friends of Memphis and Shelby County Libraries, Washington Chapel Church Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and the National, Tennessee, and Memphis Education Associations. Kneeland-Jones has been awarded lifetime membership in the NAACP, has been named a Civil Rights Pioneer Honoree, and has been honored with the Arthur S. Holman Lifetime Achievement Award by her alma mater, Memphis State University. Memphis State University also established the Memphis State Eight Best Paper Prize in 2000, for the best historical paper on the African American experience, in honor of Kneeland-Jones and her colleagues. In 2006 the Memphis State Eight were invited back to Memphis State to see the prize awarded at a conference on African American history and be honored for their pioneering roles in desegregation.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Marvis Kneeland Jones' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones lists her favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her mother's family background, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her mother's family background, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about her mother's teaching career
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about her father's upbringing
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her parents' marriage
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers her mother's death
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the deaths of her maternal family members
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her parents' personalities and who she takes after
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers the Douglass community in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of her childhood
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her experiences at Hamilton Elementary School in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls her childhood activities in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her early involvement in Memphis' Civil Rights Movement
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the civil rights leadership in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers her early participation in sit-in protests
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls the desegregation of the city buses in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers moving to the Douglass community of Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her experiences at sit-ins in Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls the discriminatory admissions practices at Memphis State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes the NAACP's first attempt to integrate Memphis State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes the formation of the Memphis State Eight
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls her reluctance to enroll at Memphis State University
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the Great Migration
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers her first day at Memphis State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her experiences of racial discrimination at Memphis State University, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her experiences of racial discrimination at Memphis State University, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls her academic experiences at Memphis State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls graduating with honors from Memphis State University
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers meeting her husband
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about her marriage
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls the assassination of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Marvis Kneeland Jones recalls her graduation from Memphis State University
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her career as an educator
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about her children's education and careers
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Marvis Kneeland Jones remembers her students
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her husband's legislative career
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about Mayor W.W. Herenton of Memphis, Tennessee
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the need for education reform
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Marvis Kneeland Jones reflects upon her life
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Marvis Kneeland Jones reflects upon her legacy
  • Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Marvis Kneeland Jones talks about the need for job training programs
  • Tape: 5 Story: 12 - Marvis Kneeland Jones describes how she would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Marvis Kneeland Jones narrates her photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Marvis Kneeland Jones narrates her photographs, pt. 2