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As early as 1958, Barbara Posey took a stand against racial injustice when she participated in National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Youth Council sit-ins at lunch counters in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Throughout her life, she has been a leader in education, women’s issues, and civil rights. Posey was born to Mr. and Mrs. Weldon Posey in Oklahoma City. As a teen, she attended Douglas High School. She met Clara Luper, an Oklahoma City history teacher and sponsor of the Youth Council, who inspired her political awareness. She participated with other students in a play written by Luper that the Youth Council performed in New York City at an NAACP freedom rally. The students came back to Oklahoma determined to end segregated facilities in the state. As vice-president of the Council, Posey became the spokesperson for the group as they pursued sit-ins and demonstrations until 1964. During the course of the student sit-ins, they opened sixty-six establishments to African Americans in the city area. The group also helped to integrate churches, recreation parks, swimming pools, and restaurants. At seventeen, she addressed the national NAACP convention in St. Paul, Minnesota.
Posey earned a B.A. degree in government, economics, and math from the University of Oklahoma in 1963. As an undergraduate, she was president of the NAACP Oklahoma Youth Conference. She earned an M.A. from the University of Illinois in 1966, and a Ph.D. degree from Georgia State University in 1973. She married political scientist, Dr. Mack H. Jones. She has written extensively on racial inequality in economics and unemployment. She is a past editor of The Review of Black Political Economy
, and has served on the advisory board of the Rockefeller Foundation for Minority Scholars and the Wellesley College Center for Research on Women. In addition to teaching at Ahmadu Bello University in Nigeria, Jones has taught at the University of Illinois, Texas Southern University, Atlanta University, and Clark College. Professor Jones is now on the faculty of the Alabama A and M University School of Business, where she has served as past Dean. Her daughter is the distinguished novelist and English professor, Tayari Jones.
East Central University (Oklahoma)