RFKHR Book Club—Last of the Lions: An African American Journey in Memoir by Clarence Jones

Join us for the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights’ Book Club Conversation at 2 pm EDT/11 am PT on August 15. We host these quarterly virtual gatherings to engage our members, amplify social justice activists,  authors, and journalists, and provide a deep dive into our work.

We look forward to hosting a discussion with Professor Clarence Jones on his work, Last of the Lions: An African American Journey in Memoir, which draws on Dr. Jones’s personal experiences from his depression- and segregation-era upbringing at the hands of caring Irish Catholic nuns through our current era. And all the unforgettable moments in between—his Ivy League years, his unprecedented dual role as simultaneous military draftee and protester, his work as an entertainment lawyer, financial/media entrepreneur, and more. Between the time Jones was born and today, America’s relationship with her black citizenry has experienced a sea change. Jones is the bridge from one America to another—spanning poverty and prosperity, injustice and acceptance, Harlem and Wall Street, even the militant underpinnings of the Black Nation of Islam and the Gandhian philosophy of Dr. King. His story is the connective tissue that clarifies our past, explains our present, and points the way to the future. Jones suffered the iniquities, fought the battles, and, unlike so many, lived to see both the fruits of his labor and its failings.

We hope you’ll join us later this August 15 to view the pre-recorded interview with Clarence Jones.

Meet the Author:

Clarence Jones, Adjunct Professor, Stanford, Former Speechwriter and Counsel to Martin Luther King, Jr.

Clarence Jones served as speechwriter and counsel to Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1960 to 1968 as an Allied Member of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE), and in the Wall Street investment banking firm Carter, Berlind & Weill becoming the “first Negro” on Wall Street. He coordinated the legal defense of Dr. 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 commissioner and other city officials of Birmingham, Alabama. 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 August 1963, he assisted Dr. King in the drafting of his celebrated “I Have A Dream” speech that he delivered at the March On Washington, August 28th 1963.