Thursday, October 13, 2005

Civil Rights Pioneer in Critical Condition

Vivian Malone Jones has been admitted to the intensive care unit of the Atlanta Medical Center this morning, reportedly suffering from a stroke.

Ms. Jones was one of the two black students whose 1963 enrollment at the University of Alabama led Governor George Wallace’s infamous “stand in the schoolhouse door” in defiance of federal orders to admit black students. As remembered in a story by the Associated Press, Ms. Jones
...had enrolled at historically black Alabama A&M University in Huntsville when she transferred to the University of Alabama in 1963. The move led to then-Gov. Wallace’s infamous stand in defiance of orders to admit black students. Jones and James Hood, accompanied by then-Deputy U.S. Attorney General Nicholas Katzenback, enrolled after Wallace finished his statement and left.

Ms. Jones endured to become, in 1965, the first black graduate of the university. She then went to work for the U.S. Department of Justice in the civil rights division, and enjoyed over thirty years of public service before retiring to Atlanta, Georgia. As reported in a recent feature from the University of Alabama, Ms. Jones has maintained her link with the school.
Jones now concentrates on "reaching back to help others" as she was helped during her own undergraduate education. As a testament to the power of the individual to effect change, she's still a role model for African-Americans attending the University.

1 Comments:

Blogger Pops said...

Not sure where you find some of these stories, but thanks. You were just a boy when Miss Jones headed to the university, but I remember it well. The news covered the story even here in Houston, and it was the talk of the town for a while. You should have seen the old hens cackling at the church that week. I'm not sure we even got any Bible study done, with all the hooplah over the happenings in Alabama.

We'll be praying for Miss Jones. Let me know if you hear any updates on her condition.

10/13/2005 10:55 AM  

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