African-American Icons: Kenneth Jones

Posted: 6:25 PM, Feb 28, 2017
Updated: 2017-02-28 17:04:07-05
African-American Icons: Kenneth Jones

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) - The people who inspire you are the ones you remember most throughout your life.

That person may be a parent, a colleague or a friend.

In this case, it's a professor many students admire at a Tallahassee university.

These students are soaring in their careers and their humble beginnings all started at Florida A&M University.

Broadcast journalism and multimedia professor Kenneth Jones has a "wall of character" in his office. 

He's been teaching for 21 years, educating students about life and seeing them during some of their happiest moments.

Jones also keeps their legacies alive, like Courtney Simms who died of meningococcemia, a form of bacterial meningitis in 2009.

The students are like family to Jones through the good times and bad.

Inside the specialized reporting class is where students learn how to produce a narrative feature. 

They learn all about the pre-production, production, and post-production process. 

"My assignment is musical messages and my partner and I are going to elaborate on songs through the decades, 50's through the 70's and the messages created, how that created change and how that created history," said Jessica Bouyer, who is a senior who graduates this semester.

Jessica Bouyer says professor Jones isn't afraid to push students to reach their potential.

"Sometimes it is just what you need," said Bouyer.

Jamari Lofton transferred from Florida Monroe University. It's his first time having class with professor Jones, but he's ready.

"They all say prepare to carry around equipment because he's going to make you work but he's a great professor and we love him here," said Lofton.

"I must say I'm humbled by what the students feel about me, but I also feel without a doubt I'm not just there to impact them in terms of school, not just learning the basics of journalism of writing, reading, editing, and shooting, but also in terms of life" said Jones.

Jones also produced and wrote a film called "My Music." It was made possible by students and the Tallahassee community. It's emotional for Jones. The film brings attention to Alzheimer's Disease and Dementia.

"The main inspiration is just the caring," said Jones. "I've been a caregiver myself I've had a number of family members. My mother has been a caregiver. My grandmother was sent when she was 14 to be a caregiver."

Jones says this is a conversation that needs to keep going.

"It's our responsibility that's how I feel," said Jones. "How are we going to take care of each other? This is across race. This is across gender. This is across culture this is going to be epidemic proportions in the next five years."

His fight against the destructive disease and his passion for helping others is why Kenneth Jones is our WTXL African-American Icon.

Jones was also the Voice of Bragg, announcing football games at Bragg Memorial Stadium for 30 years.

You can learn more about "My Music"  here