Rev. Clyde Jones

BCRI Oral History Collection
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00:00:42 - Introduction to Interview

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Partial Transcript: This is an interview with Reverend Clyde Jones for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute's Oral History Project.

Segment Synopsis: Rev. Clyde Jones is introduced.

Keywords: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Ala.)

Subjects: African Americans--Civil rights--History--20th century

GPS: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute
Map Coordinates: 33.516200, -86.813870
Hyperlink: BCRI Homepage
00:00:58 - Family Background

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Partial Transcript: I just want to start by asking you some general questions about your parents.

Segment Synopsis: Jones begins by stating he grew up in Birmingham with two younger sisters. His mother owned a restaurant located in North Birmingham on 26th Avenue around 24th St.

Keywords: Birmingham (Ala.); Business enterprises, Black; Hokenville (Ga.); Lutherville (Ga.)

Subjects: African American families

00:02:25 - Educational Background

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Partial Transcript: Tell me about your education.

Segment Synopsis: Jones compares the difference in his experience of Parker and Immaculata High Schools as the latter having more variety in education, but a harsher disciplinary policy. He states that his strongest memory of Parker High School was the quality of the football team during the time that Buck Buchannan played.

Keywords: African American athletes; Buchannan, Junious; Immaculata High School (Birmingham, Ala.); Parker High School (Birmingham, Ala.)

Subjects: African American children--Education

00:05:10 - Serving in the Coast Guard

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Partial Transcript: Well, did you then, after you graduated from Immaculata, did you go right into the military?

Segment Synopsis: Jones recalls how after high school, he volunteered to serve in the Coast Guard for economic reasons to afford higher education. He served three years where he served aboard the SS John Gordon as well as a patrol boat in the Caribbean.

Keywords: GI Bill; Military service, Voluntary; USS John Gordon; United States. Coast Guard. Atlantic Area

Subjects: United States. Coast Guard

00:07:33 - Pursuit in Higher Education

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Partial Transcript: Like I said, I wanted to go to college, but I came about in a peculiar type way.

Segment Synopsis: Jones states that he went to Howard University to study political science and psychology before studying law at the New York School of Law. He then went into the Army to serve in the Korean War for four years, after which he returned to Birmingham. He also reveals that he went to Emory University later in his life.

Keywords: Emory University; Howard University; Howard University. Department of Political Science; Korean War, 1950-1953; New York School of Law; Political science; Psychology; United States--National Guard

Subjects: African American college students

00:10:32 - Involvement in the NAACP and the Litigation Case Against the Birmingham Police Department

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Partial Transcript: So you are really returning to Birmingham at a time when the NAACP is probably the most active civil rights organization?

Segment Synopsis: Jones recounts how he became involved in litigation cases through the NAACP. One case he describes in detail is a litigation filed in 1956 against the Birmingham Police Department for not hiring African American police officers.

Keywords: Adams, Oscar W.; Alford, W.F.; Billingsley, Orzell; Gardner, Edward, 1907-2006; King, Martin Luther, Jr., 1929-1968; Shuttlesworth, Fred L., 1922-2011; Voter registration

Subjects: Alabama Christian Movement for Human Rights; Birmingham (Ala.). Police Department; NAACP; Trials, litigation, etc.

00:19:44 - Roles of African Americans in the Birmingham Police Department & His Personal Ministry

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Partial Transcript: In the meantime, the different officers, I mean the high ranking officers in the police department, they want me to in something like an undercover agent.

Segment Synopsis: Jones talks about how Black police officers were often assigned cases that required them to infiltrate, obtain, and report information, which was frowned upon in the community. Jones states that he forewent a police position that was offered to him in lieu of becoming a police chaplain in various police departments in the Birmingham area.

Keywords: Bessemer Police Department; Jackson County Police Department; Police chaplain; Randolph County Police Department

Subjects: African American police; Birmingham (Ala.). Police Department

00:24:59 - Mass Meetings & Demonstrations

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Partial Transcript: So you did attend the mass meetings?

Segment Synopsis: Jones describes how the mass meetings had to be held at different churches due to the presence of police and informants. He also discusses the various demonstrations that happened, and that his family supported his involvement in the demonstrations, though they themselves refrained from protesting.

Keywords: Freedom Rides, 1961; Mass meetings; St. Paul's Methodist Church

Subjects: Civil rights demonstrations--Alabama

00:30:08 - Reflections on the Movement

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Partial Transcript: What were the benefits do you think your family and the community realized as a result of the Movement?

Segment Synopsis: Jones remarks that the Movement motivated other African Americans to participate in the Movement to improve their lives from their everyday struggles with discrimination.

Keywords: Civil rights movement

Subjects: Birmingham (Ala.); NAACP; SCLC

00:34:20 - Conclusion of the Interview

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Partial Transcript: Well, I certainly do appreciate you taking the time out of your schedule to come up and sit with us.

Segment Synopsis: Conclusion of interview

Keywords: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, Ala.)