“The opportunity of a lifetime. . .”
Dr. Martin Luther King’s attorney, and confidant, Clarence Jones is a DreamDevelopment alumni client who dreamed of telling the story of his work with Dr. King during the Civil Rights Movement. He worked with Dream Development during his 75th to 77th birthdays resulting in a Vanity Fair Profile, his professorship at Stanford University, and the publication of his book, “What Would Martin Say?”.
Clarence Jones is a pioneer in the civil rights movement, arts, politics and entertainment.
Jones joined Dr. King’s legal team at the request of Judge Delaney (brother to the famous Delaney Sisters.) He was a reluctant addition (read his book to find out why.) The case was resolved in King’s favor in May 1960. (SCLC), and he joined the firm of Lubell, Lubell, and Jones as a partner. Jones was also the first African American Attorney at Capitol Records, obtaining the position at the request of Nat King Cole, who along with Frank Sinatra was a top-selling artist for the label.
He served as speechwriter and counsel to Martin Luther King, Jr. from 1960 to 1968. He was also 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. Jones 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.
“Dear Sonya, You are a part of that successor generation that Martin Luther King, Jr. worked and died for. Thank you for your assistance and support in my efforts to elevate his legacy.” Clarence