Wednesday July 24, 2024
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Photo: Louisville Metro Council

An African American pioneer for civil rights in Louisville will be honored with an honorary sign to commemorate her life and legacy.

On Monday November 12th Councilwoman Barbara Sexton Smith (D-4) will join the family and friends of the Alberta Odell Jones and unveil an honorary sign at the corner of Dr. W.J. Hodge Street and West Broadway for her work toward fairness and equality for all in Metro Louisville.

“Alberta Jones was a true champion of civil rights and her legacy is showcased by the many people she helped through the legal system and working to ensure they were defended and counted in our democracy,” says Sexton Smith.

She was born in Louisville to Sadie and Odell Jones and graduated from Central High School. She later attended the Louisville Municipal College for Negroes, which later merged with the University of Louisville during desegregation. After graduating third in her class, she was accepted into the University of Louisville Law School but transferred to Howard University’s School of Law after her first year and while there graduated fourth in her class.

Ms. Jones was also Cassius Clay’s first attorney, and was responsible for having him train in California under Archie Moore.

Her work in the civil rights movement led her to not only participate in the March on Washington and the marches in Louisville, but she also rented voting machines and held classes to teach African Americans how to vote for the candidates of their choice, and later established the Independent Voters Association.

Sadly her dedication to others was cut short when she was murdered in August 1965 and the case remains unsolved to this day.

“We on the Metro Council and as a city are grateful to Ms. Jones for her service and the changes she fought for,” says Sexton Smith. “She left her mark on this city and it is our hope this sign will serve as a reminder that one person can make the world a better place for all.”

Councilwoman Sexton Smith sponsored the Resolution which called for the placement of an honorary street sign on the corner of South Dr. W.J. Hodge Street and West Broadway in Louisville, Kentucky to be designated “Honorary Alberta Jones Esq. Boulevard.”

The unveiling ceremony will take place at 1:00pm at the corner of South Dr. W.J. Hodge Street and West Broadway.