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A conversation with Clarence B. Jones

Portrait of Dr. Clarence B. Jones holding a photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at his home in California.
Demetrius Philp / The Washington Post
FILE, 2023: Holds a photograph of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. at his home in California.

February is Black History Month. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday was in January. Around this time, we often see his quotes circulate on social media. And we also hear about his legacy as an activist and a minister, and his fight for civil rights in the U.S.

Today, we’re going to listen back to a recent interview with Clarence B. Jones. Clarence B. Jones was one of the many giants of the civil rights movement. He served as personal counsel to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. He was also his speech writer and personal friend.

John Henry Smith spoke with him earlier this year about his work in the civil rights movement and we’ll hear about his thoughts of where civil rights is today.


  • Clarence B. Jones: civil rights activist, attorney and speech writer
  • John Henry Smith: Host of All Things Considered at Connecticut Public
  • Rev. Dr. Stephen G. Ray Jr: minister of United Church on the Green in New Haven

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Tess is a senior producer for Connecticut Public news-talk show Where We Live. She enjoys hiking Connecticut's many trails and little peaks, gardening and writing in her seven journals.
Catherine is the Host of Connecticut Public’s morning talk show and podcast, Where We Live. Catherine and the WWL team focus on going beyond the headlines to bring in meaningful conversations that put Connecticut in context.
John Henry Smith is Connecticut Public’s host of All Things Considered, its flagship afternoon news program. He's proud to be a part of the team that won a regional Emmy Award for The Vote: A Connecticut Conversation. In his 21st year as a professional broadcaster, he’s covered both news and sports.