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Brian Jones (activist)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Brian P. Jones is an American educator, scholar, activist, and actor. He is the inaugural director[1] of the Center for Educators and Schools of The New York Public Library, and formerly the associate director of Education at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture,[2] where he was also a scholar in residence.[3] Jones earned a PhD in Urban Education from the CUNY Graduate Center and has contributed to several books on issues of racism, inequality, and Black education history, most recently to Black Lives Matter At School: An Uprising for Educational Justice.[4] He is the author of The Tuskegee Student Uprising: A History, which won the 2023 Nonfiction Literary Award from the Black Caucus of the American Library Association.[5]

Jones is a long time member of the board of directors of Voices of a Peoples History of the United States, founded by Anthony Arnove and Howard Zinn to organize and promote public performances of primary texts from radical American history.[6] In addition to his role as a director, Jones also often serves as an educator[7] and as a performer.[8] Jones' collaboration with Arnove and Zinn dates back to his nationwide of tour of Zinn's one-man play Marx in Soho, in which Jones played the title role.[9] He has also lent his voice to other projects, such as The Flores Exhibits (a series of short videos amplifying the voices of children held in detention facilities at the U.S. / Mexico Border)[10] and he has narrated more than twenty audiobooks, including Hegemony or Survival,[11] Detroit, I Do Mind Dying,[12] and Marx in Soho.[13]

A teacher of elementary grades in the New York City Public Schools for 9 years, Jones has been a prominent critic of school privatization. He co-narrated the independent film "The Inconvenient Truth Behind Waiting for Superman", which challenged the ideas of the 2010 documentary Waiting for "Superman".

In 2014, Jones ran for Lieutenant Governor of New York alongside Howie Hawkins on the Green Party of New York ticket.[14] They received 184,419 votes (4.86%), which was more than enough for the party to retain statewide recognition. Jones was a member of the International Socialist Organization, which dissolved in early 2019.

Jones has been published in a wide variety of media including The New York Times,[15] The Guardian,[16] Socialist Worker,[17] Jacobin,[18] and Chalkbeat.[19] He is married to theatre, television, and film actor Susan Pourfar.


  1. ^ "Welcome to NYPL's Center for Educators and Schools". The New York Public Library. Retrieved 2022-01-22.
  2. ^ "Contact Information for Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture". The New York Public Library. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  3. ^ "Past Fellows: Schomburg Center Scholars-in-Residence Program". The New York Public Library. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  4. ^ "Brian Jones | New York Public Library - Academia.edu". nypl.academia.edu. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  5. ^ "BCALA Announces the 2023 Literary Awards Winners" (PDF). Black Caucus of the American Library Association (Press release). January 2023. Retrieved 29 May 2023.
  6. ^ "Board | Voices of a People's History of the US". peopleshistory.us. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  7. ^ "Voices of a People's History at the Maxine Greene High School for Imaginative Inquiry". YouTube. August 4, 2017. Archived from the original on 2017-12-24.
  8. ^ "Brian Jones reads Frederick Douglass". YouTube. January 28, 2008. Archived from the original on 2020-07-05.
  9. ^ "Brian Jones in Howard Zinn's play, Marx in Soho". Lannan Foundation. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  10. ^ "The Flores Exhibits | Waterwell". Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  11. ^ Hegemony or Survival.
  12. ^ Detroit: I Do Mind Dying.
  13. ^ Marx in Soho.
  14. ^ Tarleton, John (May 13, 2014). "NYC Educator Runs for Lt. Gov: An Interview with Brian Jones". The Indypendent. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  15. ^ Jones, Brian (June 12, 2014). "Protections of Teacher Tenure Do Not Hurt Students". The New York Times. Retrieved December 8, 2020.
  16. ^ Jones, Brian (2018-06-06). "Growing up black in America: here's my story of everyday racism | Brian Jones". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2020-12-09.
  17. ^ "Brian Jones SocialistWorker.org". Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  18. ^ "Brian Jones". Jacobin Magazine. Retrieved 23 December 2015.
  19. ^ Erickson, Ansley; Jones, Brian; Sanchez, Adam (2018-05-17). "As historians and New York City educators, here's what we hope teachers hear in the city's new anti-bias training". Chalkbeat New York. Archived from the original on 2020-06-12. Retrieved 2020-12-09.