J. Charles Jones, a civil rights activist each in Charlotte, N.C., and nationally who helped arrange pivotal occasions and teams within the 1960s, died on Dec. 27 at his house in Charlotte. He was once 82.
His son Michael mentioned the reasons had been Alzheimer’s illness and sepsis.
Mr. Jones, who got here from a circle of relatives of ministers, was once a seminary pupil at Johnson C. Smith College of Charlotte in early February 1960 when he heard at the radio that 4 black males had staged a sit-in at a segregated Woolworth’s lunch counter in Greensboro, 90 miles to the northeast.
He have been monitoring the rising civil rights motion all through the 1950s and noticed Greensboro as his non-public name to motion. At a gathering of his college’s pupil council on Feb. 8, he and a couple of others introduced that they supposed to problem the segregation on the Charlotte Woolworth’s the following day. They idea a handful of fellow scholars may sign up for them.
“The following morning there have been 216 scholars outdoor the management development,” Mr. Jones mentioned in an oral historical past recorded in 2005 for Miami College of Ohio. “And all of us went downtown in more than a few bureaucracy and sat at each lunch counter there.”
Mr. Jones was a spokesman for that protest, considered one of a host that sprang up around the South; it resulted within the desegregation of many Charlotte lunch counters that summer time.
In April 1960, Mr. Jones participated within the assembly at Shaw College in Raleigh, N.C., that resulted within the founding of the Pupil Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The following 12 months he was once considered one of 4 other folks the gang despatched to Rock Hill, S.C., in make stronger of the so-called Rock Hill 9, who have been arrested after protesting a segregated lunch counter and had selected to visit prison and do 30 days on a series gang moderately than put up bail — a technique, referred to as “Prison, No Bail,” that embarrassed segregationists.
Mr. Jones and the 3 different S.N.C.C. participants had been additionally arrested, and Mr. Jones did his personal 30 days.
“Amongst different issues, we made concrete drain pipes and laid them in puts the place my grandfather, A.A. Jones, had established church buildings, two church buildings,” Mr. Jones mentioned in an oral historical past recorded in 1993 for the Duke College Libraries. “And I felt the tradition.”
Later within the 1960s, whilst a pupil at Howard College’s regulation college, the place he earned a regulation level in 1966, Mr. Jones helped shape the Motion Coordinating Committee to Finish Segregation within the Suburbs, referred to as Get entry to. In June 1966 he led a small workforce of marchers who, over 4 days, walked all the period of the just lately finished Washington Beltway, the 64-mile-long freeway that encircles town, to name consideration to the issue of suburban landlords who would now not hire to black other folks.
In his later years Mr. Jones steadily gave talks at the civil rights motion and took part in reunions marking the history-making moments he had skilled firsthand.
“Historical past flowed thru Charles Jones,” Tom Hanchett, historian in place of abode on the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, mentioned by means of electronic mail. “He seldom spoke with out invoking The Elders, the former generations who had gotten us right here and demanded that we stay transferring ahead. He sought after you to understand the civil rights historical past that his technology had made — so that you’d pick out up the torch, in flip, and make historical past your self.”
Joseph Charles Jones was once born on Aug. 23, 1937, in Chester, S.C. His father, J.T., was once a Presbyterian minister, and his mom, Ione (Elston) Jones, was once an English instructor.
Charles Jones steadily spoke proudly of the emphasis on schooling in his circle of relatives, one thing he took to middle early. The schoolhouse in Chester, he mentioned, was once proper around the side road from the place he lived, and at age five he determined he was once able for first grade, even supposing the age requirement was once 6.
“So I went on over and took a few books and mentioned, ‘I’m able for college,’” he recalled. The trainer, a Pass over Cassell, was once amused.
“She mentioned to my mom, ‘Smartly, it was once more or less humorous, as a result of Charlie got here in,’” Mr. Jones recalled — and one of the vital books he had introduced was once “What All Younger Expectant Moms Must Know.”
Pass over Cassell let him keep anyway, and for the remainder of his schooling he was once a 12 months forward of his age workforce.
The circle of relatives moved to Charlotte in 1947. Mr. Jones earned an undergraduate level at Johnson C. Smith College in 1958 and pursued theological research ahead of devoting himself complete time to civil rights reasons after which switching to a criminal occupation.
In its early days the Pupil Nonviolent Coordinating Committee debated whether or not it will have to emphasize protests or much less flashy approach of alternate, like voter registration. In 1961, Mr. Jones was head of the gang’s voter registration wing. Leaving college that summer time, he did organizing paintings in Albany, Ga., and McComb, Pass over., amongst different puts. He was once arrested a number of extra instances.
Later within the 1960s, a top level of Mr. Jones’s paintings with the Get entry to workforce was once persuading Secretary of Protection Robert S. McNamara to satisfy with him after the Beltway march. He requested the secretary to carry force on suburban landlords close to army bases, since such a lot of of the warriors preventing in Vietnam had been black. In June 1967, McNamara banned participants of the army from renting at any segregated rental advanced close to Andrews Air Pressure Base in Maryland, a big army hub.
Mr. Jones’s first marriage, to Marian Irving, resulted in divorce, as did his 2d, to Joanne Vasco. Along with his son Michael, from his first marriage, he’s survived by means of his spouse, Jackie (Blackwell) Jones; a son, Joseph Charles Jr., and daughter, Ireti Jones Burrell, from his 2d marriage; and 4 grandchildren.
In 2003 a gaggle of black and Jewish scholars from Operation Figuring out, a cross-cultural management program primarily based in Washington, got here thru Charlotte as a part of a excursion. Mr. Jones was once requested to handle the gang.
“To arrange in combination approach you’ll alternate issues,” he instructed the younger other folks. “And till all people are protected, none people are protected.”