the documentary series
Trailblazing activist Alberta O. Jones (Muhammad Ali's attorney and the first female prosecutor in Louisville, Kentucky) was brutally murdered the day before the iconic Voting Rights Act was signed into law. The sinister crime remains unsolved, and her enduring legacy has been left mostly unexamined until now.
ABOUT ALBERTA JONES
The life of Alberta Odell Jones has reverberated through time – though many of us have been unaware of it. Her legacy is an astonishing anthology of achievements at a time when such feats for a woman, and especially for a woman of color, were tragically rare. Attorney, activist, and scholar, the 34-year-old burned brightly as the nation's first African American sports lawyer, negotiating Muhammad Ali's first boxing contract and managing his business affairs. She later became Louisville-Jefferson County's first black female prosecutor and tireless voting rights advocate before her brutal, unsolved killing in 1965.
There are times when the past holds important lessons for today’s world. Alberta’s life lends great credence to this belief. More than 60 years ago, she built a tried and proven model for securing the most cherished franchise: the right to vote. By resurrecting her impressive body of work, successive generations can learn of her greatest attribute which also became her greatest crime: feminine excellence in black skin.
The greatest tribute we can pay to Alberta Jones is to capture and pass-on her legacy. This remains her family’s greatest desire – six decades after her untimely passing. While the numbers familiar with her are growing, far greater numbers remain unaware of her importance in the areas of law, civil rights and women’s political activism. Alas, this is also an occasion for long overdue conversations about her robust legacy that holds the key to so many challenges faced today.
Your support puts the Alberta Jones Project that much closer to presenting her hefty contributions to the nation’s democratic fabric.
"Murder of a Trailblazer" explores the riveting story of one of the most talented yet little-known figures in contemporary American history ⎯ the late Alberta O. Jones.
This three-part documentary series takes the audience on an odessey as it highlights the numerous accomplishments of this young, unhearalded heroine. The ambitious, important project painstakingly explores the dangerous and volatile times in which she lived ⎯ an era when segregation stood in the way of the nation becoming "a more perfect union." As an African American woman, civil rights activist, prosecutor, and attorney to the famed boxed Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali, Alberta's rising star was more than some could tolerate. And on August 5, 1965, her body washed up on the shores of the Ohio River just one day before the signing of the historic Voting Rights Act. Her brutal murder remains unsolved. Alberta's story is the story of America's continuing struggle to reconcile the ghosts of its past and build on the legacy of those who paid the price for our freedom.
Crowd at the March on Frankfort, Kentucky 1964
ABOUT THE PROJECT
Exposing younger audiences to the life and legacy of Alberta Jones is of critical importance. Why? Because there are important lessons that those today can take from her groundbreaking achievements and apply to their own efforts to arrive at true social justice.
In an effort to capture her life’s work, the Alberta Jones Project has completed approximately 35 on-camera interviews with experts from around the country. The next phase of production is vital to the film’s success: re-creations to bring alive key events in her life. This phase requires significant expenditures for actors/actresses, costumes, props, make-up and more. The final phase, post-production is equally important. The project will endeavor to finalize the film through editing (sound and video), colorization, music and more.
Like the vast majority of documentaries, the financial support of those who believe in the project is of paramount importance. Please consider making a tax-deductible donation today in order to be counted among those who stand behind our efforts to bring the work, legacy and unsolved assassination of this brilliant woman to the screen.
EXCLUSIVE CLIP : CIVIL RIGHTS LEADERS
Collection of interviews focusing on the life and legacy of Alberta O. Jones
EXCLUSIVE CLIP: FLORA SHANKLIN
Flora Shanklin, the younger sister of Alberta O. Jones, talks about Alberta's life and legacy
EXCLUSIVE CLIP: ZETA PHI BETA SORORITY
Sisters of Zeta Beta Sorority Inc. speak on the important work of Alberta O. Jones
University of Kentucky Student Nieta Dunn Sits In At Dime Store Lunch Counter 1960