Clarence B. Jones, the keynote speaker for Southeast Missouri State University’s Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Celebration Dinner, will take questions at a news conference
Clarence B. Jones was an advisor to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and helped draft King’s famous “I Have a Dream” speech. Jones served as a political advisor, counsel and draft speechwriter for King. He is currently a visiting professor at the University of San Francisco and scholar writer in residence at the Martin Luther King Jr. Research & Education Institute, Stanford University, and Palo Alto, Calif.
3:45-4 p.m. Jan. 22
Show Me Center North Meeting Room
Jones is the co-author of “What Would Martin Say?” and “Behind the Dream-The Making of the Speech that Transformed a Nation.” He also co-authored an e-book, “Uprising: Understanding Attica, Revolution and the Incarceration State.” He posts a regular column in the Huffington Post and is currently at work on his autobiography, “A Pencil and A Dollar Bill – Memoirs From An African-American Journey From the Depression to The Election of Barack Obama as President of the United States.” Jones has received numerous awards recognizing his significant contributions to American society. Through his work in the civil rights movement, he dramatically impacted the course of American history. He coordinated the legal defense of King and the other leaders of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference against the libel suits filed against them and The New York Times by the police commission and other city officials of Birmingham, Ala. The Supreme Court ruling in this case – Sullivan vs. The New York Times – resulted in the landmark decision on the current law of libel. In April 1963, he drafted the settlement agreement between the City of Birmingham and Martin Luther King Jr. to bring about the end of demonstrations and the desegregation of department stores and public accommodations. In September 1971, Jones again found himself at the center of history in the making when, at the request of Gov. Nelson Rockefeller, he helped negotiate an end to the historic Attica prison inmate rebellion.