Civil Rights leader Dorothy ‘Happy’ Jones dies

(Girls Inc.)

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Dorothy “Happy” Jones, a leader in the Civil Rights movement in Memphis in the 1960s and ’70s, has died.

Jones became involved in the local movement after Martin Luther King’s 1968 assassination, joining Jocelyn Wurzburg in establishing a local chapter of the Panel of American Women. These integrated panels spoke at PTAs, churches and civic groups.

In 1971, she founded the Memphis Community Relations Commission, which elimated the practice of “blockbusting” and helped slow white flight from the city, according to the Tennessee Human Rights Commission.

Jones’ death was confirmed by Congressman Steve Cohen of Memphis, who released this statement Friday:

“No one made Memphis more a City of Good Abode than Happy Jones. She was always in the forefront of progress and justice. Happy was a leader for over 50 years, crossing political and racial lines. Hers was a life well lived.”