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Jacquie Jones

Producer, writer and director Jacquie Jones was born on April 28, 1965 in Washington, D.C. to Humphrey and Claire Antoine Jones. She grew up in Memphis, Tennessee. In 1987, Jones graduated with her B.A. degree in English, with a minor in African American Studies, from Howard University. She went on to receive her M.A. degree in documentary filmmaking from Stanford University in 1995.

Upon graduation from Stanford University, Jones was hired as a producer for the Public Broadcasting Station, WGBH, in Boston. In 1999, she was appointed senior vice president of ROJA Productions, where she worked until 2003. From 2001 to 2003, Jones updated all existing media, as well as created new installations for the collection of the National Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, Tennessee. Then, in 2005, she was hired as the executive director of the National Black Programming Consortium, where she established herself as a leader in the evolving digital media landscape with projects including the Katrina Project, the Ford Foundation-funded Masculinity Project, and NMI: Africa. Jones also founded the New Media Institute in 2006, and the Public Media Corps in 2009.

Jones produced Africans in America, Matters of Race and 180 Days: A Year Inside an American High School for PBS, Behind Closed Doors: Sex in the 20th Century for Showtime, and The World Before Us for the History Channel. Her other film credits included acting as an executive producer on Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, Black Folk Don't, and multiple episodes of the television series Independent Lens and P.O.V..

Jones also published writings in numerous anthologies and periodicals, including the anthologies Black Popular Culture and Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography, as well as The Huffington Post. From 1989 until 1993, she was the editor of Black Film Review, a quarterly journal about African Diaspora filmmaking. Jones was awarded a Peabody Award and was selected as a Revson Fellow at Columbia University. She was a scholar-in-residence at the American University, and served on the boards of directors of the Integrated Media Association, California Newsreel, the Committee on Black Performing Arts at Stanford University, and Grantmakers in Film and Electronic Media. Jones also served on the community advisory board of WHUT-TV at Howard University.

Jones passed away on January 28, 2018 at age 52.

Accession Number

A2013.288

Sex

Female

Interview Date

10/21/2013

Last Name

Jones

Maker Category
Marital Status

Married

Middle Name

Michelle

Occupation
Schools

Stanford University

Central High School

University of Memphis Campus School

Howard University

Search Occupation Category
First Name

Jacquie

Birth City, State, Country

Washington

HM ID

JON36

Favorite Season

Summer

State

District of Columbia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Turks and Caicos Islands

Favorite Quote

That's Not Gonna Work

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

New York

Birth Date

4/28/1965

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

New York

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Pizza

Death Date

1/28/2018

Short Description

Film producer Jacquie Jones (1965 - 2018 ) founded the New Media Institute and Public Media Corps and served as executive director of the National Black Programming Consortium. Her film credits included Africans in America, Matters of Race, Afropop: The Ultimate Cultural Exchange, Behind Closed Doors: Sex in the 20th Century and The World Before Us. Her writing appeared in Black Popular Culture, Picturing Us: African American Identity in Photography and The Huffington Post.

Employment

WGBH TV

ROJA Productions

National Black Programming Consortium

New Media Institute

Black Film Review

NBPC/PBS

Smash Advertising

Disney

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Jacquie Jones' interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Jacquie Jones lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Jacquie Jones describes her mother's family background, pt. 1

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Jacquie Jones describes her mother' family background, pt. 2

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Jacquie Jones talks about her mother's education and occupation

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Jacquie Jones describes her father's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Jacquie Jones describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Jacquie Jones describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Jacquie Jones describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Jacquie Jones remembers the Memphis State Campus School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Jacquie Jones recalls her early interest in language arts

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Jacquie Jones describes her neighborhood in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Jacquie Jones remembers the Civil Rights Movement in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Jacquie Jones remembers her most influential teachers

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Jacquie Jones describes her activities at Central High School in Memphis, Tennessee

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Jacquie Jones describes the subject of her early writings

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Jacquie Jones recalls her decision to attend Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Jacquie Jones remembers the authors who taught at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Jacquie Jones recalls her activities at Howard University

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Jacquie Jones talks about her identity as an immigrant

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Jacquie Jones recalls her introduction to the film industry

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Jacquie Jones recalls working for the Black Film Review

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Jacquie Jones reflects upon the changes in independent filmmaking

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Jacquie Jones recalls her decision to attend Stanford University

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Jacquie Jones remembers the Panafrican Film and Television Festival of Ouagadougou

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Jacquie Jones talks about her mentors, Clyde Taylor and Manthia Diawara

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Jacquie Jones describes the movie theaters in Burkina Faso

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Jacquie Jones recalls her introduction to documentary filmmaking

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Jacquie Jones describes her experiences at Stanford University in Stanford, California

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Jacquie Jones remembers working on 'Africans in America'

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Jacquie Jones describes her research for 'Africans in America'

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Jacquie Jones recalls learning about Thomas Jefferson's role in the Haitian Revolution

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Jacquie Jones describes what she learned about colonial Mississippi

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Jacquie Jones remembers the historical consultants on 'Africans in America'

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Jacquie Jones recalls her work on 'From Behind Closed Doors: Sex in the 20th Century'

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Jacquie Jones describes her short film series for The History Channel

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Jacquie Jones remembers working for The History Channel

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Jacquie Jones recalls working on 'Matters of Race'

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Jacquie Jones remembers the attacks of September 11, 2001

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Jacquie Jones recalls working for the National Civil Rights Museum

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Jacquie Jones remembers moving to South Africa

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Jacquie Jones recalls founding the KwaMashu Black Documentary Film Festival

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Jacquie Jones recalls her appointment as executive director of the National Black Programming Consortium

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Jacquie Jones remembers documenting Hurricane Katrina

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Jacquie Jones talks about the emergence of digital media

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Jacquie Jones describes the New Media Institute

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Jacquie Jones talks about diversity in public television

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Jacquie Jones describes the mission of the National Black Programming Consortium

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Jacquie Jones describes the changes in public television programming

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Jacquie Jones describes her hopes for African American media

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Jacquie Jones reflects upon her life

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Jacquie Jones reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Jacquie Jones talks about her board involvement and her family

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Jacquie Jones describes how she would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$5

DAStory

7$4

DATitle
Jacquie Jones recalls her introduction to documentary filmmaking
Jacquie Jones recalls founding the KwaMashu Black Documentary Film Festival
Transcript
What were the--I mean were the- are there certain key principles that you learned about documentary filmmaking at Stanford [Stanford University, Stanford, California] that you could share with us?$$Yeah. I mean the thing about Stanford was that I hadn't really--there weren't a lot of documentaries that were part of that whole independent black film thing; it was more narrative films. And so, when I went to Stanford, I knew very little about documentaries. I mean I had seen 'Eyes on the Prize I' ['Eyes on the Prize: America's Civil Rights Years, 1954-1965'], and by that time II ['Eyes on the Prize II: America at the Racial Crossroads, 1965-1985']. And I think by that time 'The Great Depression' had come on, maybe, and I had seen a few of those series--and, like I said, the Af- Ali Mazrui's 'The Africans' ['The Africans: A Triple Heritage']. And there had been a couple of documentaries that had come out in the ni- early '90s [1990s]. But--$$Yeah, the--I think it was Ken Burns' 'Civil War' ['The Civil War'] came out in '91 [sic. 1990]--$$Yeah.$$--which was a big TV--$$It was a big thing, but I didn't see it until later. I saw it, but not until I started working in public television. It wasn't really on my radar, you know. But so, the whole thing was new to me at Stanford, you know, and the history of documentary filmmaking. And even though a lot of the concepts about filmmaking you understand, that are like--there's a certain, there's a difference between how you see things with your eyes, and how you film them, or how you see them when they're filmed, you know. And that whole process of really translating things from your perception to--you know, how it ends up, you know, on a TV or in a movie--was really different. And it--and I think I didn't--I thought that I would go to Stanford and get that degree and learn more about the practicalities of filmmaking. But I hadn't intended to return to my previous work. And I had continued to do writing and, you know, be involved, you know, as a speaker about issues around representation. And I really thought that I would go back to doing that. But I got really, like, interested in like what it means to translate, you know what I mean--your ideas into a document--like, like a film, you know. So, when I left Stanford, I really wanted to work on a documentary. You know, like, I wanted to work in documentary as a--not necessarily forever, but I just wanted to have the experience of working on like an 'Eyes on the Prize' or something like that. And I met one filmmaker when I was out in Oakland [California] who was one of the pioneers, I think, of PBS [Public Broadcasting Service] black documentaries, named [HistoryMaker] Avon Kirkland. I worked with him for a while, and that was really fascinating. And that made me want to, you know, do more. And so, Jon Else introduced me to [HistoryMaker] Orlando Bagwell who is--was also one of the producers of 'Eyes on the Prize,' and worked very closely with Henry Hampton and ran Blackside [Blackside, Inc.] for a while when Henry Hampton was ill. And I, you know, begged him for a job for like six months. Then he finally gave me one. And that's 'Africans in America' ['Africans in America: America's Journey through Slavery'] (laughter).$And the--and actually when I--well, right before she--like right before she [Jones' daughter, Ayana Clark] was born, I started working with a guy who--there's a big international film festival in Durban [South Africa], which is where we ended up living. And we were trying to see one of the films in the festival. And it was no longer showing in the main festival, but they were having these community screenings. So, we went to one of the screenings. I can't remember which film it was. But we went to the screening. It was in the township right outside Durban. And it turned out that this township was the only township that had like a real theatre. Like, they have a thirty-five millimeter projector; they have a thick seat theater, which no townships, at least then had. And I started talking to the guy who ran this--it was--the theater was part of a cultural arts center. So, I started talking to this guy about having a film festival at his thing, because there was--you know, they had these little community screenings in townships. But otherwise, you had to go into city centers to see any kind of black films or, you know, documentaries, or things that would be relevant to the communities in the townships. And so, this guy Edmund Mhlongo, he was really very entrepreneurial as an artist, you know. So, he was totally into this idea, and he thought of it already. And so, I started working with him to produce this festival, which we did the first one in December of 2004. And then it's still going on today. And it was, and we brought in filmmakers--black filmmakers, from Europe, from the states. And NBPC [National Black Programming Consortium; Black Public Media] was one--supplied--helped us with a lot of the programming. And that was one of the ways I re-connected with NBPC. And it was great, it was really fantastic.$$What was the name of the festival?$$It was called--KwaMashu [South Africa] is the name of the township. So, it was called KwaMashu--$$Can you spell that for us?$$It's K-W-A and then capital M, A-S-H-U, but one word.$$KwaMashu film festival.$$KwaMashu, it was called KwaMashu Black Documentary Film Festival [ph.].$$Okay.$$But then they changed it to KwaMashu African Film Festival.$$Okay. It's still going on today?$$It's still going on.$$Okay.$$(Laughter) So and we--like, NBPC, we worked with that--Edmund's--the KwaMashu art center [Ekhaya Multi Arts Centre, KwaMashu, South Africa] on a few projects. Because, as I said, he's just very forward thinking, the guy that runs it. So, he like also had this whole digital thing built, you know, there. So, we worked with them. Because a lot of the work we've done at NBPC lately has been really exploring digital media and what's the future of that and, you know. So, we've done little projects with him over the last five years still.