Reflections in Black: Scipio Africanus Jones

Oct 2, 2019

Scipio Africanus Jones was born enslaved in Tulip, Ark. in 1863. He eventually moved to Little Rock and attended what would become Philander Smith College. He received his Bachelor's degree from Bethel Institute in 1885. In 1889, Jones passed the bar exam and had his law credentials accepted by both the state and U.S. Supreme Court the following year. In 1919, Jones began work on the most important case of his life defending the Elaine 12. The men were tried, convicted and sentenced to death after being falsely accused of planning a Black uprising. Jones eventually got all 12 men freed from prison. This is his story.