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Jones, Alberta O.
Birth Year : 1930
Death Year : 1965
Alberta Odell Jones was born in Louisville, KY, the third child of Sarah (Sadie) Frances Crawford Jones and Odell Jones. She was also a first cousin of Raymond Ponder. During her brief life, Alberta Jones was at the forefront of change in Kentucky and Louisville. She was one of the first African American women to pass the Kentucky Bar (1959) and the first woman prosecutor in Kentucky (1964). [Sally J. Seals White was the first African American woman admitted to the Kentucky Bar.] Jones was prosecutor in the Louisville Domestic Relations Court; her law office was located at 2018 W. Broadway. [James A. Crumlin, Sr. was the assistant prosecutor.] Jones was Cassius Clay's [Muhammad Ali's] first attorney, taking him to California to be trained under Archie Moore. Jones was also a civil rights activist: in addition to participating in the March on Washington and the marches in Louisville, she rented voting machines and held classes to teach African Americans how to vote for the candidate of their choice. She established the Independent Voters Association and was an active member of the Louisville Urban League and the NAACP. Jones also established the James "Bulky" Welch Fund and held a fund-raiser, raffling off a car to pay Welch's medical bills and purchase the prosthetic arms to replace the ones young Welch had lost trying to retrieve his dog from under a train. Alberta Jones was a graduate of Louisville Central High School and attended the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes. When the college was merged with the University of Louisville (U of L) during desegregation, Jones continued her education at U of L and graduated third in her class. She was accepted into the University of Louisville Law School but transferred after the first year to Howard University School of Law, where she graduated fourth in her class. A picture of Alberta O. Jones hangs in the U of L Law School. She was a member of the American Bar Association, the Fall City Bar Association, and the Louisville Bar Association, serving as secretary of the latter. She was also a member of the Eta Zeta Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta and the Sigma Chapter of Iota Phi Lambda. Alberta O. Jones was murdered in August 1965 -- the case has not been solved. This information was submitted by Alberta Jones's niece, Ms. Nicole M. Martin, and Jones's sister, Ms. Flora Lutisha Shanklin. For more see "Alberta Jones' funeral rites held; unsolved murders alarm West Enders," The Louisville Defender, 08/12/1965, front page and p. 6; and Legacy of Leadership: African American Pioneers in Kentucky Law (video-recording), by the University of Louisville School of Law.

 


   See photo image of Alberta O. Jones and Cassius Clay [Muhammad Ali] in Jet, 08/26/1965, p.5.
Subjects: Activists, Civil Rights, Civic Leaders, Voting Rights, Lawyers, NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People), Women's Groups and Organizations, Urban Leagues
Geographic Region: Louisville, Jefferson County, Kentucky



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