Your gifts to Chairman Jones--An Improbable Leader are tax deductible, less the perks you receive.
We met and exceeded our modest goal! However, we are continuing to raise funds in order to COMPLETE the project. To donate visit:
Who Am I?
My name is Anna Jones. I grew up in the 1950s and 60s on a farm in rural Northampton County, North Carolina, one of eight children. My father was a farmer and my mother a midwife. Following a 30-year corporate management career, I now live in Durham, NC. In recent years I have learned about my father, James Henry Jones, from people in Northampton County and throughout North Carolina who witnessed his extraordinary leadership. Their stories inspired me to make this documentary.
What is this film about?
Chairman Jones: An Improbable Leader is the true story of the desegregation of public schools in rural Northampton County, NC during the Jim Crow and Civil Rights Eras. It centers on the pivotal role my father, James Henry Jones, played in bringing it about.
When many cities across America were burning, torn apart by chaos and hatred, James Jones was building cross-racial coalitions to address complex issues of equality and fairness. It was because of his leadership, that the Citizens of Northampton County talked to each other.
His rise to become North Carolina's first black school board chairman was pivotal not only in transforming the educational landscape, but also initiating a new era in relations between the races and progress in our State.
My purpose is to record living history and to tell this story through the voices of the people who lived it.
Capturing these stories will preserve this powerful history and culture for future generations of students, historians, researchers, and leaders of all cultures interested in education, race relations, politics, leadership, and rural cultures in the American South.
As we watch the crisis in education deepen in our Nation, while progress rolls back, the lessons of the Chairman Jones story will resonate with people of conscience who value quality education for children and civility in society.
What Has Been Done?
Together with experienced film makers who have told true stories before, I am calling on every skill l developed in college and in my corporate management career to research this little-known history and aim to bring it to the public in 2014.
Other North Carolinians have recognized the importance of this history and have supported it. Among them are:
Dr. William Friday, President Emeritus, UNC System (d.2012) invited me to discuss this project for his audience on UNCTV's North Carolina People program. Later I interviewed him for the film.
· Dr. Tim Tyson, author of Blood Done Sign My Name, collaborated with historical perspective and story-telling assistance.
Working on a shoestring, over the past four years we have:
· Researched decades of archival records
· Filmed dozens of interviews with seniors in Northampton and NC who lived this turbulent history.
· Produced a 10-minute promotional trailer. https://vimeo.com/75936930
· Partnered with individuals, churches, civic organizations, and small foundations in Northampton County, throughout North Carolina, and beyond to finance this important project.
What We Need Now
At this stage of the project, our goal in this short campaign is to raise a minimum of $7500.
YOU can help push us closer to the finish line with your tax deductible gifts.
We have already completed 85% of the interviews and additional footage.
The $7500 goal will be allocated this way:
· $2500 - to film remaining interviews and background shots in Northampton County
· $5000 - to jump start editing the final film
Other Ways You Can Help
Contributions in any amount will help.
Even if you can't contribute financially, you can still be a part of bringing this fascinating history to the screen.
· Help us get the word out and make some noise about the film and campaign
· Tell your friends and social media network
· Forward this notice to your email contacts
· Offer your special skills and talents to the project (administrative, social media, technology, creativity.)
Thank you so much for your interest in Chairman Jones: An Improbable Leader.
Working together, we can bring this important piece of American History to the public. I can only imagine how astonished and proud (though he might not admit it) my father would be.