The Story of Alberta Jones

 "A lot of people said: "You've got two strikes against you. You're a woman and you're a Negro....but  I've got one strike left, and I've seen people get home runs when all they've got left this is one strike." Alberta Jones

Who was Alberta Jones? Ms. Jones was unsung hero of the Civil Rights Era in Louisville, Kentucky. She attended Howard University Law School and returned home to Louisville in 1959. She was the first Black female prosecutor in the city and negotiated  the first fight contract for Muhammad Ali, her neighbor and friend. Additionally, she established the Independent Voters Association and helped thousands of Black Americans register to vote in Louisville during the 1960s. Jones also paved the way for a ban on racial discrimination by local theatres and lunch counters. In 1965 at the age of 34 she was brutally beaten and thrown into the Ohio River to drown.

The Murder of Alberta Jones: On August 5, 1965, two witnesses saw two Black men drag a screaming woman into the back seat of a car that resembled the Ford Fairlane  Jones was driving, according to police records. Her body, had trauma to the head and face, retrieved from the river near an amusement park in the West End. There was a large quantity of blood stained on the backseat of the Fairlane, discovered nearby, which she had rented while her own car was in the shop.

In 2017 Trip Gabriel writer at The New York Times published an article entitled "A 'Quest for Justice' for a Murdered Civil Rights Pioneer, 52 Years Later." Gabriel spoke to Bellarmine University professor, Lee Remington. Bellarmine is a local college in the city of Louisville. Remington began researching  about the life of Alberta Jones in 2013. Remington has planned to write a biography.

Remington has reviewed over 1,600 pages of police files she believed she was overlooking clues to this unsolved murder. The Louisville Police Department has agreed  to reopen the case and The Department of Justice's Civil Rights division has stepped in for support. Although there has been new interest in the case it is uncertain if it can be solved.

According to Professor Remington Jones's death was connected to the work she was doing at the time. There is a chance she made enemies because of the causes she fought for. Jones is survived by her sister Flora Shanklin. Shanklin believes that her sister's murder case remains unsolved because evidence was buried and the authorities were being protected. Shanklin says her sister was harassed by a court officer at work. One day Jones became frustrated with him and hit him with a briefcase.

Toni's Thoughts: I was sad and intrigued by this story. I am ashamed to admit that I just learned about Alberta Jones a few years ago this is a hidden gem in my hometown I knew nothing about. I would like to see this case be resolved so Ms. Jones family can have peace. I cannot imagine the pain they felt when she was murdered and how it has been ignored.  One could only imagine what her life could have been like if she had to the opportunity to continue to fight for change. I will post a link of the article.



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