The Nation’s Largest African American Video Oral History Collection Mobile search icon Mobile close search icon
Advanced Biography Search
Mobile navigation icon Close mobile navigation icon

Paul Jones

Share on Social Media

Information about Paul Jones

Profile image of Paul Jones

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Red
Favorite Food:
Leg of Lamb, Mint Jelly
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
Beauty Is A Joy Forever.

Birthplace

Born:
6/1/1928
Birth Location:
Bessemer, Alabama

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civic Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue, Red
Favorite Food:
Leg of Lamb, Mint Jelly
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Anywhere
Favorite Quote:
Beauty Is A Joy Forever.

Birthplace

Born:
6/1/1928
Birth Location:
Bessemer
See how Paul Jones is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Paul R. Jones was born Paul Raymond Jones on June 1, 1928, in Bessemer, Alabama, a company-run mining town, as the youngest of five children. Jones started off school in the South, but was sent by his family to New York to continue his education. By the time he reached high school, however, he had returned back home. Jones received a scholarship to attend the University of Alabama, where he was active in a variety of athletics and social organizations. After being told that he could not attend the law school of his choice due to his race, Jones went to Howard University, where he earned a B.A. degree in 1949 and an M.A. degree in 1950. Jones would later do doctoral work at the University of California and earned another M.A. degree from Governors State University.

Jones' involvement in politics began after returning home from Howard University in 1950. In the early 1950s, he remarked to a reporter that he might run for president and his outspokenness drew attention from political leaders in Washington, D.C. Heavily involved in the Civil Rights Movement, Jones was also making political friends and by 1965 was working for the U.S. departments of Justice and Commerce. Jones continued to move around in political appointments, serving in a variety of posts throughout the South, as well as spending a year in Bangkok, Thailand, as a deputy director of the Peace Corps. In the early 1980s, Jones ran for Congress while continuing to grow Paul Jones Enterprises, a real estate holding firm, which he is still involved with to this day.

In addition to his long history with politics, Jones amassed a vast collection of African American artwork. The collection, which was recently given to the University of Delaware for display, is considered one of the largest and most complete collections of its kind. Jones also served on the boards of museums, historical societies and arts funding agencies, including the Atlanta History Center, the Georgia Museum of Art in Athens, and the Metropolitan Atlanta Art Fund.

Jones passed away on January 26, 2010 at the age of 81.

Jones was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on August 16, 2003.

See how Paul Jones is related to other HistoryMakers
Loading...
Click Here To Explore The Archive Today!
  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Paul Jones' interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Paul Jones lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Paul Jones describes his parents
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Paul Jones recalls stories about his family's tenant farming and visiting relatives on tenant farmland
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Paul Jones remembers visiting a maternal uncle's tenant farm
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Paul Jones describes how boxer Joe Louis influenced southern race relations
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Paul Jones describes his father's race consciousness
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Paul Jones describes his father and his interests
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Paul Jones remembers labor organizing in Bessemer, Alabama including a miner's strike that resulted in several deaths
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Paul Jones describes his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Paul Jones talks about how his parents met and African American cooking and nutrition in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Paul Jones describes his likeness to his parents
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Paul Jones recalls moving north to New York to an integrated school system and losing his southern accent
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Paul Jones talks about working as a community relations specialist for the U.S. Department of Justice
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Paul Jones tells a story of quietly getting a segregationist sign removed from inside a building in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Paul Jones recalls early childhood memories
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Paul Jones describes his childhood dream to attend West Point
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Paul Jones recalls running for president of the United States during the 1950s
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Paul Jones talks about his childhood experience with church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 11 - Paul Jones talks about learning to read and beginning school at age five
  • Tape: 2 Story: 12 - Paul Jones talks about his schoolteachers
  • Tape: 2 Story: 13 - Paul Jones talks about being sent to New York City to improve his educational opportunities
  • Tape: 2 Story: 14 - Paul Jones talks about playing sports at the Boys Club in New York City as a child
  • Tape: 2 Story: 15 - Paul Jones talks about attending Alabama State Teachers College for his first two years of college
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Paul Jones talks about Dunbar High School in Bessemer, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Paul Jones talks about attending Alabama State Teachers College in Montgomery, Alabama and being elected class president
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Paul Jones describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood in Bessemer, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Paul Jones describes hog killings and dog fights
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Paul Jones talks about being barred from applying to the University of Alabama School Of Law in Tuscaloosa, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Paul Jones describes his time as a student at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Paul Jones talks about visiting Ralph Bunche in New York and his arrival in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Paul Jones recalls deciding to do graduate work at Howard University in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Paul Jones describes his work for the Birmingham Interracial Committee of the Jefferson County Coordinating Council for Social Forces
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Paul Jones talks about the dissolution of the Race Relations Institute
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Paul Jones talks about leaving the Interracial Committee in Jefferson County, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Paul Jones talks about starting a package store in Bessemer, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Paul Jones talks about Paul's Package Store
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Paul Jones talks about his relationship with the commissioner of public safety in Bessemer, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Paul Jones recalls the commissioner of public safety's predatory lending practices
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Paul Jones talks about being awarded a fellowship to the Yale Center of Alcohol Studies
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Paul Jones talks about running a restaurant leased by businessman A.G. Gaston
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Paul Jones talks about moving to San Francisco, California for work
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Paul Jones talks about his role in Selma, Alabama during the Edmund Pettus Bridge incident in 1965
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Paul Jones recalls his work in Selma, Alabama while working for the Community Relations Service
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Paul Jones talks about being honored for his art collection
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Second slating of Paul Jones' interview
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Paul Jones describes CREEP, the Committee to Re-Elect the President
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Paul Jones talks about the Peace Corps and being hired to the Committee to Re-Elect the President
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Paul Jones talks about G. Gordon Liddy and the Watergate scandal
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Paul Jones talks about the presidential race between Richard Nixon and George McGovern
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Paul Jones talks about black militants and political opportunism
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Paul Jones talks about the National Black Political Assembly and political pragmatism
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Paul Jones talks about how he secured money and black votes for the Committee to Re-elect the President
  • Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Paul Jones talks about George McGovern's loss in the 1972 presidential election
  • Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Paul Jones talks about high profile African Americans who supported Richard Nixon
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Paul Jones talks about President Richard Nixon's impact on the African American business community
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Paul Jones talks about the Model Cities Program
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Paul Jones clarifies his professional timeline and talks about the Watergate scandal
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Paul Jones talks about the Watergate hearings
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Paul Jones talks about political patronage in Chicago, Illinois and in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Paul Jones describes how he began collecting art
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Paul Jones talks about his focus on buying artworks by black artists and an encounter with Herman Kofi Bailey
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Paul Jones talks about networking with artists and lending his collection out to help artists gain exposure
  • Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Paul Jones talks about joining the board of the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia, the 20th Century Art Society, and the Collectors' Club
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Third slating of Paul Jones' interview
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Paul Jones outlines his political career
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Paul Jones talks about his congressional run in 1986
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Paul Jones talks about his membership in the Collectors' Club at the High Museum in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Paul Jones talks about damages to his art collection
  • Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Paul Jones talks about lending his collection to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
  • Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Paul Jones talks about loaning out his photography and other artwork
  • Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Paul Jones remembers photographers James Van Der Zee and P. H. Polk
  • Tape: 7 Story: 9 - Paul Jones tells the story of P. H. Polk's photograph 'The Boss'
  • Tape: 7 Story: 10 - Paul Jones remembers James Van Der Zee and Roy DeCarava
  • Tape: 7 Story: 11 - Paul Jones talks about high profile black photographers
  • Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Paul Jones talks about the work of photographer Ming Smith and others
  • Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Paul Jones talks about the overlapping work of painters and photographers
  • Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Paul Jones talks about hosting a TV show in the 1950s and the lack of recognition for African American talent
  • Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Paul Jones talks about artist Herman Kofi Bailey
  • Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Paul Jones explains how the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware became the home for his art collection
  • Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Paul Jones describes building a relationship with the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware
  • Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Paul Jones explains how he donated his collection to the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, pt. 1
  • Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Paul Jones explains how he donated his collection to the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Paul Jones lists the conditions for the donation of his art collection to the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware
  • Tape: 9 Story: 2 - Paul Jones talks about neglect of African American art at Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Tape: 9 Story: 3 - Paul Jones talks about the interest in contemporary black artists and beginning to collect P. H. Polk's photographs
  • Tape: 9 Story: 4 - Paul Jones talks about the potential value in a university's investment in art
  • Tape: 9 Story: 5 - Paul Jones talks about the business of art making, pt. 1
  • Tape: 9 Story: 6 - Paul Jones talks about the business of art making, pt. 2
  • Tape: 9 Story: 7 - Paul Jones explains what is meant by the term "naive" art
  • Tape: 9 Story: 8 - Paul Jones talks about how trained and untrained black artists are evaluated in the art market
  • Tape: 9 Story: 9 - Paul Jones talks about the need to support and sponsor more black artists
  • Tape: 9 Story: 10 - Paul Jones explains how art patrons can make an artist
  • Tape: 10 Story: 1 - Paul Jones talks about some collectors' preference for "naive" art versus the art of trained African American artists
  • Tape: 10 Story: 2 - Paul Jones talks about the need to diversify the arts world as well as African American museums
  • Tape: 10 Story: 3 - Paul Jones talks about the increasing value of black art in the broader American cultural landscape
  • Tape: 10 Story: 4 - Paul Jones describes his hopes and concerns for the African American community
  • Tape: 10 Story: 5 - Paul Jones considers what he might have done differently
  • Tape: 10 Story: 6 - Paul Jones considers his legacy
  • Tape: 10 Story: 7 - Paul Jones talks about the value of his art collection
  • Tape: 10 Story: 8 - Paul Jones talks about his family, his career and art collecting
  • Tape: 10 Story: 9 - Paul Jones describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 11 Story: 1 - Paul Jones narrates his photographs