Johnson C. Smith University remembers J. Charles Jones

Photo of Joseph Charles Jones Sr. ’58

Charlotte, N.C./Jan. 17, 2020 – Our hearts and prayers go out to the friends and loved ones of alumnus Joseph Charles Jones Sr. ’58, who died at the age of 82 December 27, 2019.

Jones, known as an activist and pillar in the Charlotte community, led more than 200 JCSU students in protests for racial segregation in the Queen City during February 1960 by staging a series of sit-ins at uptown establishments. He even served hard time after an arrest for trespassing while trying to integrate an all-white lunch counter in nearby Rock Hill, SC. 

Jones’ leadership influenced a number of alumni, including second-term Charlotte City Council member Malcom Graham ’85.

“To walk the same path as Jones and many other alumni who fought for equality and justice for all made each and every one of us dig deeper and aspire to create positive change for our campus and communities,” Graham emphasized.

Jones served his alma mater as a campus leader and active participant in student government, which led to his involvement in the national student political movement of the 1960s. 

Jones later moved to the Biddleville community adjacent to the University where he organized the Biddleville/Smallwood/Five Points Neighborhood Association, and remained an active and engaged advocate for his beloved community until his death.

“His legacy inspired me to seek a career in elective office, to bring about meaningful change in Charlotte and to continue the legacy of JCSU alumni being actively involved in the political process,” Graham added.

Funeral services were held for Jones at Jane M. Smith Memorial Church on the campus of Johnson C. Smith University January 4, 2020.

Related Articles

Class of 2024 Walks into Bojangles Coliseum
Waves of Golden Bulls flooded Bojangles Coliseum on Sunday, May 19, 2024, at 11 a.m. to walk across the stage, some of them for the first time, to receive their degrees. Johnson C. Smith University conferred 228 degrees, 207 to undergraduate students, and 21 to graduate students in the Master of Social Work program. A total of 125 of those graduates completed their studies with Latin honors by earning a 3.0 grade-point average or higher throughout their collegiate career.
View Content
Dr. Alphonso Ogbuehi, Mike Lamach and Chasity Boyce
Mike Lamach is the retired CEO of Trane Technologies and a member of the JCSU Board of Trustees. On the evening of Wednesday, April 24, 2024 he was the featured speaker of the Dean's Distinguished Speaker Series, sponsored by the Johnson C. Smith University College of Business. Chasity Boyce, Managing Director of US and European Business Management Barings, LLC, served as co-moderator of the conversation, alongside Dr. Alphonso Ogbuehi, Dean of the College of Business.
View Content
Gaming Day 2024
The Johnson C. Smith University Esports and Gaming program continues to break new ground and carve out fresh territory in Charlotte. On Saturday, April 27, Esports and Gaming faculty and staff welcomed up to 30 middle and high school students from near and far, from the Charlotte Metro area to Greensboro, N.C. The event was called STEM and STEAM: Changing the Game through Esports and Gaming.  
View Content