BATON ROUGE, La (BRPROUD) — At the age of 101, this veteran and civil rights legend finally received the recognition he deserved in a ceremony dedicated to him at the Old State Capitol.
Johnnie Jones became injured while fighting for our freedoms on the beaches of Normandy, but when he returned, he had to fight for his own. Jones studied law at Southern University and used his degree to fight jim crow laws.
He represented the Baton Rouge bus boycott organizers, which laid the blueprint for the now-famous Montgomery bus boycott. He continued his work in civil rights cases and even served a term in the Louisiana house of representatives. “All people should be given equal opportunity to advance,” said Jones.
But 77 years after D-day, Jones had not been awarded for his service, that all changed at the Old State Capitol.
“It’s not exaggerating to say that Mr. Jones has been indispensable in the fight for equality, and we are so incredibly proud to have such a monumental civil rights icon as a member of our local state and community,” said Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin.
He was presented with a purple heart medal from senator Bill Cassidy, a Juris Doctorate from Southern University law chancellor, and a letter from the current chief of staff for the U.S. Army commending him.
“We all stand on someone’s shoulders and I stand on yours and I thank you for that,” said Senator Cleo Fields.
“We would hope that someday in the future someone could say that about us, that we have contributed as much to our state and our country and our world as Mr. Jones,” said Senator Bill Cassidy.
“I’m so happy and so proud for what y’all have shown me… I love this state… I love Louisiana… and I thank you all for showing this honor upon me today,” said Jones.