(Updated 12/6/2017) Among the legendary graduates of Princeton University who have made their mark on the surface of the human condition is Ronald (R.B) Jones whose pensive thoughts and radical politics helped shape the world he lived in for more than three decades. R.B recently died in his beloved hometown, Baltimore.
While a student at the Ivy League school, very few – if any – of his professors and fellow students knew that R.B. had come to be amongst them after being raised by an aging uncle in a home on Dolphin Street, a stone’s throw from Pennsylvania Avenue in Baltimore.
After graduating from Princeton with honors it would have been easy for R.B. with his connections and intellect to go Wall Street and pursue a fortune. Yet, he decided to return to Baltimore to live in his old neighborhood and to make an effort to lift the people who had not had the opportunity to pursue higher education.
One of the best writers to have ever come out of Baltimore, R.B’s literary talents included writing song lyrics, love poems and plays. In fact, he was one of the founding members of the Billie Holliday Players, a theatrical group that included some of Baltimore’s premier artistic talent in the 1970s and 1980s.
Perhaps he was best known for a weekly column entitled the “Real Side” that first appeared in the Afro-American Newspaper and, later, in weeklies throughout the country.
In his column, R. B. offered scathing commentary on Baltimore’s political class. At times his criticism was unrelenting, but it was never mean-spirited or petty. It was insightful and truthful.
A physical giant of a man for most of his years, R.B.’s health failed him in recent years while his sister cared for him. Yet his intellect and his passion for change did not dissipate.
Ronald R. B. Jones was a kind and disciplined human being whose courageous voice shall never be forgotten.
All of us are blessed to have been the beneficiaries of his principled work, his nobility, and his dignified life.
R.B. Jones Funeral Arrangements
Viewing: Friday, December 8th: Derrick C. Jones Funeral Home 4611 Park Heights Avenue Baltimore, MD 21215 Public Viewing: 3:00pm-7:00pm;
Funeral Services: Saturday, December 9th: Union Baptist Church 1219 Druid Hill Avenue Baltimore, MD 21217 Wake: 10:30 am Funeral: 11:00 am
Carlton C. Douglass and Joseph Green-Bishop were lifelong friends of Ronald Jones. His work inspired their lives and their work.