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Wed, 06.15.1921

Leeland Jones, Educator, and Activist born

Leeland Jones

*Leeland Jones was born on this date in 1921. He was a Black educator and civic leader.

Leeland Jones, Jr., a Buffalo, New York native, spent the first six or seven years of his life sleeping in the bed of his grandfather, a former slave who had fled from the South through the Underground Railroad. He was student body president and captain of the football and debate teams at Buffalo’s Technical High School. Jones was a graduate of the University of Buffalo, where he was the first Black allowed to play on a white team against another white team below the Mason-Dixon line. This game was the University of Buffalo versus John Hopkins University in 1941.

In 1951, he was elected as Buffalo, New York’s first black Councilman. He was on the Erie County Board of Supervisors, a Field Representative of the New York State Commission Against Discrimination, and an English Teacher.  Jones was on the Board of Education as Assistant Director in the United States Labor Department. He served as a Director of Erie Community College Urban Center, Director of Evening Programs at City College, and an Assistant Vice President of City Campus. He was Chairman of African American History Foundation and a West Point, Annapolis, Air Force Candidate Selection Committee member.

Jones was on the Board of the Police Athletic League, Board Council on Drug Abuse, Formally a Trustee of the University of Buffalo, and other boards. Among the listing of his honors are Who's Who Among African American Americans, Who's Who Among American Students, New York State Civil Liberties Award, I.B.P.O.E., and was the Gold Key Man of the Year by Buffalo Junior Chamber of Commerce. This is not all of his accomplishments, but it is certainly sufficient to prove he is to be looked up to and honored. Leeland Jones, Jr. died on August 13, 2009.

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