Hari Jones 1958-2018
A brilliant and prolific voice was silenced when Hari Jones passed away in Washington D.C. on June 22, 2018. Jones was a national treasure whose body of work enriched the lives of those both in the private and public sectors.
Born November 1, 1958 in Pauls Valley, OK., Jones was a precocious and exceptionally bright child. A natural and accomplished athlete, he ran track, wrestled and played football both in middle and high school. He graduated from Pauls Valley High School in 1976, where soon after he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps.
Throughout his tenure in the Marine Corps, Jones held several positions consisting of infantryman, artillery officer, and intelligence officer. He successfully served a total of 21 years within the Marine Corp reaching the ranks of Staff Sergeant and ultimately Captain prior to his retirement. While serving in the military, he also earned a Bachelor's Degree from the University of Oklahoma.
Post military is where Jones truly began his life's work and calling. His passion to educate people on the vital roles African Americans assumed during the Civil War reverberated throughout the academia and media worlds. Jones' extensive resume garnered him the respect and attention he acquired as well as a sought after authority figure and expert on African American Civil War history.
Some of his past work and/or positions included:
Served as Assistant Director and Curator at the African American Civil War Freedom Foundation and Museum in Washington, D.C.
Acted as an independent history consultant for various national projects
Served on the Board of Directors of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, PA Prolific and award-winning lecturer having earned national attention and recognition for his lecture series entitled: "The Lost Story"
Content developer for the National Park Service (NPS) Museum at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site in Tuskegee, AL as well as content developer for the American Civil War Center exhibit: "Take Our Stand"
Content adviser for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) exhibit: "Discovering the Civil War"
In addition to Jones' impressive career as a history consultant and content developer/adviser, he appeared in over 50 television programs and documentaries in the likes of: CSPAN, FOX News, PBS, American Heroes Channel, History Channel, Smithsonian Channel along with appearances on many other national outlets.
Some of his most notable television appearances entailed: "Who Do You Think You Are?" (episode featuring actress and singer, Vanessa Williams) "Legends and Lies" (Executive Producer- Bill O'Reilly)
"The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross," hosted by Henry Louis Gates (Peabody Award)
In all that Jones accomplished, he would say his greatest role was being a father and grandfather to his late daughter Julia Jones and son, Earnest Harold Lomax Jones, age 13; and granddaughters Ania Jones, age 15; and Lyric Jones, age 11. He served his family much like he served his country with unwavering loyalty and compassion. His children and grandchildren were his pride and joy; and what inspired his passion to build the legacy he left for not only his son and grandchildren, but for the world.
So many of you have expressed your condolences and have inquired how you can bless his family during this difficult time. We are asking in lieu of flowers, if you would consider making a donation to this Gofundme page where we can help provide financial support for his son and grandchildren which he leaves behind. Your contributions would help absorb some of the expenses that come with raising children as well as ease some of the financial burden his absence brings to his immediate family.
This Gofundme page was also created to help further the legacy and mission of Hari Jones as his work was just beginning. Many projects were in development with respect to his lecturing, consulting, and literary work as well as the work he was doing prior to his recent death for the DuSable Museum of African American History in Chicago, IL.
His ultimate goal was to enlighten, educate, and elevate the minds of those whose path God afforded him to cross. His legacy of telling the important untold stories about our American History was a gift many of us were blessed to sit at a table, auditorium or in our living rooms to hear; it is our hope through your generosity that generations to come can also have that same opportunity to hear one of the greatest voices of our time.
“And in the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” —Abraham Lincoln
Jones certainly lived a life that counted and with your help we can continue to make it count for future generations.
Hari Jones Bio
Harold (Hari) Jones is a writer, lecturer, historian, curator and motivational speaker. For twelve years, he was the assistant director and curator at the African American Civil War Freedom Foundation and Museum in Washington, DC. He is currently an independent history consultant and on the Board of Directors of the National Civil War Museum in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, where he presented his award winning lecture series “The Lost Story” in the fall of 2015. He is one of the foremost authorities on the role of African Americans in the Civil War.
Hari curated the permanent exhibit at the African American Civil War Museum entitled “The Glorious March to Liberty.” In that exhibit, his commitment to the use of primary sources is evident. “In our exhibit,” says Hari, “we quote no scholars. If you were not there in the making of the history, you do not get a quote in our exhibit.”
Hari has worked on exhibits on display across the country. He was a content developer for the National Park Service (NPS) museum at the Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site at Tuskegee, Alabama, a content adviser for the American Civil War Center exhibit “Take Our Stand” and a content adviser for the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) exhibit “Discovering the Civil War.”
Hari has appeared in over fifty television programs and documentaries viewed on CSPAN, Fox News, NBC, PBS, the American Heroes Channel, the History Channel, the Smithsonian Channel and numerous local outlets. Among those programs were Who Do You Think You Are? featuring Vanessa Williams; Legends and Lies with Bill O’Reilly; and the Peabody Award winning The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross with Henry Louis Gates .
Hari served in the United States Marine Corps as an infantryman, an artillery officer and an intelligence officer. Reaching the rank of staff sergeant as an enlisted Marine, he retired as a captain in 1997 after twenty-one years of service.
Hari is the author of a book of poetry, a novel and an historical series entitled For Light and Liberty. The first in this series The Road to Emancipation: How the War to Preserve the Union Became a War to End Slavery was published in 2012.
Harold (Hari) Jones is a Pauls Valley, Oklahoma native and a graduate of the University of Oklahoma.
Mr. Jones has been featured on:
NBC's Who Do You Think You Are - Vanessa Williams with Hari Jones
NPR The Truth ABout Juneteenth - Hari Jones
C-SPAN African American Women and the Civil War - Hari Jones
C-SPAN USCT in the Civil War - Hari Jones
C-SPAN Open Phones with Hari Jones - Hari Jones
CivilWar.Org "Victors, Not Victims - Hari Jones
Washington Post - A Juneteenth Story with Hari Jones
- Juneteenth Related Sources from the Official Records of the War of the Rebellion
- Links to Primary Sources
Hari Jones will be speaking at the following venues: