Veteran of the Civil Rights Battle Ready to Take It to the Streets to Save Landmark Building at Johnson C. Smith University

Charles Jones was one of the founders of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in 1960. Now nearly 50 years later, he is willing to hit the streets once again in an act of civil disobedience.

Jones, a graduate of Johnson C. Smith University, the historically black educational institution in Charlotte, North Carolina, has vowed to stop any attempt to demolish the Davis House near the entrance to campus. Jones told the Charlotte Observer, “I will personally stand in front of any bulldozer attempting to tear down the house.”

The house was built in 1890 by George Davis, the first black faculty member at the university. Davis retired as dean of the faculty in 1920 and later sold the house to the university. Its windows are now boarded up and yellow caution tape seals off the entrance to the building. The university says it has no money to either restore the building or to tear it down.

Jones hopes to appeal to new university president Ronald L. Coker, who takes office this July.