African American Studies
Interviewer: Mark Naison
Interviewee: Geraldine Jones
Summarized By: Eddie Mikus
Geraldine Jones is a Bronx community activist who resided in the borough since the Morrisania burnouts. Her involvement in community affairs began as a direct result of the burnouts. Therefore, her story depicts a struggle that was all too common amongst African-American Bronx residents during the 1960s.
Jones’ first adverse experience living in the Bronx came during the Tremont blackout of 1977. She recalls that she had been partying with some friends of hers, and that her building was looted as a direct result of the blackout.. Furthermore, she recalls witnessing young men with stolen items such as televisions and washing machines.
Jones said that the burnouts began after she had residing in the Belmont neighborhood. She states that landlords were paying people to burn down the houses, and that the actions of the landlords were something that motivated her to take an active role in community affairs. Within her leadership role, she served as president of her building, which she had occupied for 23 years at the time of her interview. Additionally, Jones also founded the Bronx Community Coalition with a man whom she identified as Jacob. In this organization, she held the position of organizer of buildings.
Jones, Geraldine. Interview with the Bronx African American History Project. BAAHP Digital Archive at Fordham University.
Click below to download supplemental content.Jones, Geraldine.mp3 (52538 kB)