How I Write: A Conversation with Clarence B. Jones
Scholar Writer in Residence and Visiting Professor, Martin Luther King, Jr. Research and Education Institute
Wednesday, April 24th, 2013
Lane History Corner Building 200, Room 002
FREE and Open to the public
As the 50th anniversary of the March on Washington approaches, we have the opportunity to talk with a key speechwriter and counsel to Martin Luther King, Jr. From 1960 until his assassination in 1968, Clarence Jones worked closely with Rev. King, assisting him in drafting the celebrated “I Have a Dream” speech that Rev. King delivered August 28, 1963. Through his work in the civil rights movement, Dr. Jones has dramatically impacted the course of American history. For example, in April 1963, he drafted the settlement agreement between the City of Birmingham and Rev. King to bring about the end of demonstrations and the desegregation of department stores and public accommodations. In September 1971, he again found himself at the center of historic events when, at the request of Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller, he helped in the attempt to negotiate an end to the historic Attica prison inmate rebellion. Dr. Jones also had a successful career in an investment banking firm, and was the “first Negro” on Wall Street. He has founded successful financial, corporate and media-related ventures. He is the co-author of What Would Martin Say? Behind the Dream: The Making of the Speech That Transformed A Nation and Uprising: Understanding Attica, Revolution and the Incarceration State. He is currently co-writing a book, Where Were You? for the 50th Anniversary of the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Dr. Jones posts a regular column in the Huffington Post. He is also writing his autobiography: Memoirs of A Winter Time Soldier.