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Fresh Docs Screening of “Chairman Jones”: February 27, Full Frame Theater

The James Henry Jones family. Courtesy of film director Anna Jones (back row, second from left).

The James Henry Jones family. Courtesy of film director Anna Jones (back row, second from left).

[James H. Jones] meant just as much to this small community, to northeastern North Carolina, as Martin Luther King does to the South, as President Obama does to the world. —Willie Gilchrist, distinguished longtime school administrator, former university chancellor and member of the UNC Board of Governors

The Center for Documentary Studies and the Southern Documentary Fund present a free screening of director Anna Jones’ Chairman Jones as part of the Fresh Docs series, which features documentary works-in-progress. Following screenings, SDF director Rachel Raney moderates a conversation with the filmmaker in which the audience participates, providing valuable feedback.

Chairman Jones
Friday, February 27, 7 p.m.

Full Frame Theater, American Tobacco Campus
320 Blackwell Street, Durham, North Carolina
Directions 

Note that while Fresh Docs screenings are free, all attendees must reserve a ticket via Eventbrite, available beginning at 9 a.m. on the day of the event; bookmark this page and reserve tickets on February 27. 

Chairman Jones tells the story of the director’s father, James Henry Jones, a farmer with a seventh-grade education who emerged as a trailblazer during the 1969 school desegregation crisis in Northampton County, North Carolina, leading the fight to end nearly a century of education inequality. Jones placed his own children on the front lines, brought blacks and whites together for dialog and consensus, helped integration “tiptoe into the county,” as Anna Jones puts it, and transformed the educational landscape for everyone. His rise to become North Carolina’s first black school board chairman introduced a new era in education and had a marked effect on racial progress in the state. Born on a former slave plantation in 1916, Jones died in 1984, the year that the Northampton County school system received accreditation for the first time in its history, largely due to his extraordinary vision and leadership. View trailer.

Anna Jones is a first-time filmmaker. Following a corporate management career, she immersed herself in art studies at North Carolina Central University, her alma mater, and Duke University, including the Center for Documentary Studies. She owns and manages the family cotton and peanut farm in Northampton County and lives in Durham, North Carolina, a patron of the arts and member of the Duke Chapel Advisory Committee. Jones believes that the stories of unrecognized black leaders in rural communities in the South need to be recorded in our nation’s history.

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