Edward A. Jones

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Edward Allen Jones (1903-1981), was an African-American linguist, scholar and diplomat. Jones is best known for his book, A Candle in the Dark: A History of Morehouse College.[1] Jones received his bachelor's degree from Morehouse College in 1926, where he was the school’s valedictorian. He received his master's degree from Middlebury College in 1930 and his Ph.D. from Cornell University in 1943.[2][3]

In 1929, Jones studied at Grenoble University in France where he received a Certificate d’Etudes Francais (with special mention). The following year Jones was awarded a fellowship to study at Middlebury University by the General Education Board.[2]

E.A. Jones was born to George and Carrie Jones of Indianpola, Mississippi. He entered a prep academy at the age of fifteen in 1918 where he began the study of Latin and Greek languages. He was married to Virginia Lacy Jones a GED Fellow at the University of Illinois and the second African American to earn a Ph.D. in Library Science in the nation (from the University of Chicago).[3]


He began his teaching career at Edward Waters College. Thereafter, Jones embarked upon a distinguished forty-year career as professor of French and the Fuller E. Callaway chair of the department of Modern Foreign Languages at Morehouse College.[4] As a researcher, Jones received the Corson French Prize at Cornell University in 1942 and was a Romance Language and Literature Scholar at Cornell from 1942-1943. In 1944, he was elected into Phi Kappa Phi chapter.

In 1968, Jones received the Ford Foundation Sabbatical Research fellowship during which he published several books and articles. Jones was elected into Phi Beta Kappa in 1960 and was listed in the Outstanding Educators in America in 1972.[3][5]

In 1970, he was appointed by President Léopold Sédar Senghor, as the honorary Consul to Senegal and in 1977 he became the editor of the College Language Association Journal (CLA).[2]

Famous quotes[edit]

“It is better to light a candle in the dark than to curse the darkness.” (A Candle in the Dark)[6][7]

“Stop complaining about what has been done, and get down to the business of doing something yourself. Get out and make something of yourself. Force yourself into the mainstream. Be competitive. Instead of expecting handouts and special considerations, exploit your own abilities.”

Selected Works[edit]

  • A Candle in the Dark: A History of Morehouse College (Judson Press, 1967)
  • Voices of Negritude (1971)
  • The Autobiography of Daddy King as Told to Edward A. Jones
  • Morehouse College:In Business Ninety Years-Building Men (The Phylon Quarterly, 1957)[8]
  • Black French Colonial Administrator (The Phylon Quarterly, 1973)[9]


  1. ^ The Purpose of Education
  2. ^ a b c Mississippi Black History Makers, 231-233; George A. Sewell and Margaret L. Dwight, University Press of Mississippi, 2nd Ed. (1984)
  3. ^ a b c Academic Couples: Problems and Promises by Marianne A. Ferber & Jane W. Loeb (1997)
  4. ^ Language Leader E.A. Jones Dies of Cancer in Atlanta Jet Magazine (June 1981)
  5. ^ Men of Morehouse by Lerone Bennett, Jr.;Ebony Magazine(Vol. 16 No.7;May, 1961)
  6. ^ "Inaugural Speech". Morehouse College. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  7. ^ Williams, Emily Allen (1995). "Keep the candle burning: Morehouse college into the 21st century". Journal of African American Men. 1 (1): 71–86. doi:10.1007/BF02692076. Retrieved 26 August 2013. 
  8. ^ Jones, Edward, A. (1957). "Morehouse College in Business Ninety Years - Building Men". The Phylon Quarterly. 18 (3): 231–245. JSTOR 272974. doi:10.2307/272974. 
  9. ^ Jones, Edward, A. (1973). "Black French Colonial Administrator". Phylon. 34 (1): 109–111. JSTOR 273517. doi:10.2307/273517.