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Series of vignettes of historical figures

Alaska's Black History: JP Jones

JP Jones
JP Jones

Alaska Black History Notes

J. P. Jones was a Fairbanks activist and businessman. The labor union brought him to Fairbanks in 1951, and he worked construction projects throughout the Fairbanks area, including the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Eielson Air Force Base. He married Geneva Talton in 1956. In the 1960s and 70s, he ventured into entrepreneurship, starting a convenience store, rental properties, the Jones Ice Factory, and a motel. He sometimes experienced racial injustice. He was determined to help others avoid these obstacles so became involved in the Greater Fairbanks Branch of the N.A.A.C.P.

In a recent presentation on Fairbanks Black History, professor Dorothy Jones, who is not related, remembered Jones as a formidable personality.

There was an interview done with J.P.'s daughter Gigi about her dad,  so Gigi said the P in his name stood for Persistent  Persevered and Pro-willed.  And Gigi remembers that her father was very outspoken to a point of intimidation. I agree.  Either you like him. Or you did not,  for his firm belief that no matter who you are, everyone should be treated fairly and have opportunities.”

He received many awards and honors during his presidency of the N.A.A.C.P. However, he was most proud to learn of the dedication and the re-naming of the Southside Community Center to the J.P. Jones Community Development Center in Fairbanks, on October 26, 2002.

Jones died less than a month later, at the age of 90.