Allyson Jones and Malvin Jones

Recorded October 15, 2005 Archived October 15, 2005 01:15:14 minutes
0:00 / 0:00
Id: MBX000680


Melvin interviews his wife Allyson about growing up in Washington D.C. and their life together.

Subject Log / Time Code

Martin Luther king at the “I have a dream” speech


  • Allyson Jones
  • Malvin Jones

Recording Location

MobileBooth East


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00:06 This is Mark Jasper Jones, and I'm 54 years old and today's date is October 15th 92 ride. The 2005 in the location is here in Memphis, Tennessee, and we've driven up from outside of Jackson, Mississippi, actually, Ridgeland, Mississippi to be here and my relationship is spouse, and my name is Alice and Oliver Jones. I am 41 years old. Today is October 15th location. Again, it's Memphis, Tennessee where from Ridgeland Mississippi and my relationship to the interviewer is found his wife. Well Allison, I'm really excited that we're here today so that we can put this down because as you know is going to go into archives and I'll be available for generations to come way after we're gone, but as you know, we're here in Memphis, Tennessee, and we live in Richland, Mississippi and drove up.

01:05 3 hours to get here today be here Memphis, Tennessee, and we've been in Mississippi now for what 12 years and originally your home was Washington DC you that's where you were born and raised. What was it like growing up in Washington DC in Washington DC. We had we were in the middle of the cultural environment by being the nation's capital we were able to go to the Smithsonian as children in the National Zoo and we were even able to get on the Metro when it came to our area. So was a great place growing up in Washington DC because it was the nation's capital and my parents and relatives made sure we were able to take a hold of everything that was around us. You must really have some fond memories of the Smithsonian what I always enjoyed as a child as well as in

02:04 Adult the presidential are part of the Smithsonian because you could see the president's and the gals that the first ladies wore at the inauguration ball. And I always was interested in President Kennedy because my middle name is Caroline and I was named after Caroline. Kennedy saw always wanted to learn as much as I could about the Kennedys and it was an exciting place to go or I can imagine when you think of the Smithsonian and going to various places in Washington DC and grown up there as a child. There must be some sort of relationship some sort of correlation. Like when you think of the Smithsonian, who do you think of in particular when I think of the Smithsonian I think of my aunt Nelly because I know they made sure that we will culturally enriched that's children. She's my father's sister and I know they always took us to the Smithsonian every year and she always took us to other various music.

03:04 And Exhibits the came like the King Tut she also made sure that we went to The American Folk Festival every year. It was held on the National Mall. So I think of the Smithsonian I think about Nellie, so I'm quite sure I didn't you must always think about Nellie then I think of her in the sense of being my favorite aunt and how she made sure that as children we were culturally enriched she made sure that we have recreational activities such as she taught us how to bold and make sure that we all learned how to swim. She also made sure that we went roller skating and she was just a favorite aunt taught us how to play board games and outside playground and organized Sports such as kickball so she exposed her nieces and her nephews to so many things when you mentioned outside playgrounds what came to my mind because

04:04 I've heard you talk about her number to ask Kennedy Park. Tell me about Kennedy playground Kennedy play graph as a child. I thought was the best playground in the whole wide world my world being Washington DC and my grandfather would take us Hillary Brown senior. He would take us down to Kennedy playground on Sundays that my parents Charles and Mary Oliver had evening church services. We will go over my grandparents house Hillary and Louise Brown and we will go there. My grandfather would take us down at Kennedy playground which had the best playground items. They had Rockets. They had giant slides they had

04:48 Swing sets they had multiple Sprinklers and we just enjoy Kennedy playground and he would take us there on a Sunday afternoon and my grandmother would cook dinner and when we walk back from Kennedy playground, we will be so exhausted and then my grandmother would have fried chicken and she always have fried cabbage with became my favorite and also Marvin my husband's favorite and biscuits and mashed potatoes and blue will be so exhausted and we would sit down to eat out dinner when we came back from the playground and then my parents would pick us up and we would go home and it would get us ready for bed so that we can go to school the next day which will be Monday. So I would imagine that was quite memorable. My grandfather was so many life lessons on our way to the playground and on our way back from the playground. He always taught us that

05:43 It was important to say thank you to people because people did not have to be nice to you and when they were nice, you should thank them he also taught us life lessons of when you learn something new in school that you needed to be able to transfer that classroom information to real life experiences. So I remember granddaddy giving us so many life lessons to and fro going to Kennedy playground as well as coming back from Kennedy playground.

06:18 When you think of Washington DC you think of Smithsonian you told me that how you remember how you it was coming up. I'm going to throw out a couple names. Okay, and I just want you to give oh, maybe a brief response the first thing that comes to your mind, okay.

06:37 Louis Brown Guana

06:40 My grandmother we affectionately called her Grana and the Redskins. She loved the Redskins the Washington Redskins.

06:50 Hillary Brown senior granddaddy wise

06:55 Very wise loving

06:59 Aunt Nelly

07:02 Fun fun I Nelly was always Fine Mary Brown, Auburn Ma.

07:10 Wisdom and example to follow an example to emulate

07:16 Charles Oliver, Daddy

07:19 Loving supportive always there to help.

07:25 How about Big Brother funny selling down finally?

07:32 Jay Oliver little brother my best friend growing up we hung out cuz we only had each other.

07:42 Well, it was in other words. You have two brothers and you were the only girl what was that life growing up?

07:49 It was interesting because I had an older brother and I had a younger brother. So I was in the middle of two boys they had each other but for some reason j&i my youngest brother, we always were together and we tended to spend a great deal of time together growing up. How old was the oldest so he always provided instructional leadership and always remember growing up that he would place j&i to tug of war with each other and two to fight up against each other to see who was the strongest and it was a good childhood. It was a good child, but I'm excited.

08:31 Washington DC born and raised their the next major place that you lived in Greensboro, North Carolina to talk to me about that. Well, I went to school and Greensboro North Carolina college Bennett College one or two historical black female schools. That was a great experience being in Greensboro because I learned leadership skills wind Greensboro at Bennett College also learned Sisterhood at Bennett College. I learn how to be a strong African American woman at Bennett College because of the examples that we had in terms of the faculty and staff.

09:13 Bennett College, how did it change your life it changed my life because it taught me the importance of to whom much is given much is expected and I learned how to be in a humanitarian at Bennett college and learn how to give I learned that if so much was given to me. It was my responsibility to give to others.

09:38 Particularly African American women you pointed out that Bennett College golden to a little history little more history about Penny College Bennett College was founded by the United Methodist Church doing the land grant. Of African American universities. It's a historic black college and university all female African American female Spellman being African-American female University College and Bennett College being one also.

10:11 You mentioned leadership that at work leadership and sister don't want to talk to me about that leadership. Meaning that we had a responsibility to lead the masses. We had a responsibility to not speak leadership with to live leadership to be an example for appears to be exact to be mentors. We needed to be able to lead by example not to talk it but to walk the walk and not just talk to talk Sisterhood Sisterhood being accountable being your sister's keeper knowing that you were in it all together knowing that it was your responsibility to help the last the loss and Elise now tell me what's unique about a Bennett Bell.

11:04 She's one in a million.

11:07 I should ask you what's unique about a Ben and Bell. You married one. I think that is one who who makes a statement. She stands for what is right?

11:24 So we've gone from Washington DC to Greensboro now down to Mississippi tell us about that. You've been improving in Mississippi for 12 years now tell us about that. Mississippi is where I believe that I transformed where I grew up where I left being a young adult and become an adult. I learned life lessons in Mississippi. I was able to earn my masters of Business Administration in Mississippi. I was able to work alongside of my husband Marvin at the Piney Woods Country Life School in Mississippi. So many opportunities were forwarded to us by staying at Piney Woods are one of three African American boarding schools. I was able to just explore what it meant to be away from home, but also,

12:24 Understanding what it meant to be a wife and a mother and that's what Mississippi has provided for me.

12:35 Call Allison you you absolutely believe in the importance of traveling and what it can offer. You been around the world. And number place is what I'm going to do is bring a couple of name a couple of countries that you travel to and I just want you to brief the sheriff comes to your mind when I mention these countries. Okay, Paris so beautiful and if I could speak French fluently, I would live in Paris. I would have maybe never come back. This was very Metropolitan and so lovely to see Paris Senegal.

13:17 Senegal was interesting. It was my first time in Africa. So it was a very interesting place to see the to go to the place where the slaves left left the motherland to come to you tonight Estates was very moving London Airport.

13:37 We almost missed our flight being in the London Airport. I remember that being rushed trying to see so much in. So little time beautiful beautiful South Africa. I was so reluctant to take the plane ride and so many for so many years. But then when I made up my mind to fly, it was out. I regretted not doing it more often because it was a place. That's so Urban and Metropolitan. It's like New York City or Chicago at the

14:17 End of the tip of Africa Soweto

14:24 I felt pain I felt pain in Soweto to see the masses living in poverty living without in such a country rich with natural resources the struggle.

14:40 Mexico City

14:44 Acapulco comes to my in Mexico City very first experience internationally Mexico City enjoy Acapulco and in the bus the bus ride in the countryside.

15:02 And I'll Lady of Guadalupe. Yes. Yes Our Lady of Guadalupe when we went to the church. The people were on their knees going up the stairs, and they said that they must suffer in order to get their prayers answered by Our Lady of Guadalupe.

15:25 In the cave where the music it's it was a cave that was actually a supper club very interesting Oregon beautiful.

15:39 Rustic on our trip from California to Washington State. So family-oriented. Dr. Laura Wile first time so family-oriented a wonderful family vacation.

15:55 Sausalito beautiful the mountains a place I would want to live.

16:03 With a convertible

16:06 What type of convertible Volvo convertible in Sausalito early morning Bagels coffee?

16:14 Lox and bagels. Yes, Sausalito, California

16:21 So we gone from Washington DC to Greensboro to Mississippi. We stop by Paris Senegal London South Africa came, and how about Cayman Island?

16:34 Show the Cayman when I wanted to go scuba diving.

16:39 And you wanted me to put on my life jacket to go and I didn't want to put it on until I jumped over in the water and then you threw it to me. So I remember the came in for that water sports the Caribbean beautiful water beautiful water tropical fish scuba diving just water sports.

17:06 That sounds exciting it time goes by so fast. I was just thinking about that Alaska alyeska on the top of the world looking down.

17:21 The Midnight Sun experiencing the Midnight Sun in Alaska where the sun shines all night and it only gets dark full maybe a. Of 2 hours at night from roughly.

17:37 3 or 4 in the morning to 5 and it's not even a midnight dark. It's just a dusk or Dawn. And and your body thinking that as long as it's daylight that you're supposed to be doing something and I'll dear friend Johnny and Sylvia Givens. Let me ask you this.

18:03 I can remember most New Year's Eve.

18:07 What's your most memorable New Year's Eve?

18:11 As an adult

18:13 I think my most memorable New Year's Eve as an adult would be when we went to South Africa and experience New Year's Eve in South Africa. What a great place to party and bringing a New Year's but I think my funniest New Year's Eve would be when we went to New York City and it was the first time I had seen.

18:43 The fireplace on the television set and you said that that's the way that New Yorkers celebrated Christmas and New Year's by having the Christmas music play like the Christmas song and looking at the television for the fireplace. What can you imagine if you had 5 million 5 places in New York?

19:12 TV was like that that was pretty funny. So that was a memorable time of your life.

19:21 And I think that I'm living in memorable times right now.

19:27 I want to thank my husband who who is interviewing me now Marvin Jones who is really his his shout out who is really just exposed me to so many things that I would have never thought in my lifetime. I would have been able to be exposed to it for being a Visionary person into making a difference and doing things that is he would say finding your comfort by living on the edge of of of the Earth or living on the edge of time. So it's been it's been a while but it's been an enjoyable ride. Well that person sounds very interesting talk a little bit more about it. He's right here the interviewer.

20:13 And he's a great guy. He's a great guy.

20:17 And we have three grandchildren on some Marvin II that I call Marvin number 2 and we have Marvin 3rd that we affectionately call mookie and we have Ariana and we have Jordan.

20:33 And we just blessed to have them and we have Inga and we have Marvin II and that's how family placed in the archives for future generations to.

20:50 Come to and pick up and listen. So well after we're gone someone is going to go into the National Archives one of these days and listen to this. What would you say to the Future Generations that will be listing on dreams?

21:08 I would say to whom much is given much is expected that if you receive then you should be willing to give and that we should climb higher as a people and client and continue to climb and to stay focused and to know that with With God all things are possible.

21:30 When you talk about climbing talk to us about your crime your quest for your MBA experience that was

21:45 A stretch I had it is the most I probably had to stretch in my life leading up to that. Because I was an English major in college and I then went into a masters of Business Administration. So I was seeing Business course work on a very escalated very escalated level for the first time but it was a stretch but it was a a birthing process because I was being transformed by the experience and I remember telling you that I was being changed and I could literally feel myself being changed but not knowing what I would change into.

22:43 And that was somewhat fearful because I could feel the change occurring.

22:50 And it was so fearful that I asked my mother was this supposed to be happening and she indicated to me that with a master's program that you are to change that is designed for a change to occur. And I did change I did change. I became a more aware astute.

23:12 Person, I'm almost to a person.

23:17 How did your faith play a part in it? Truly trust the Lord especially in finance?

23:26 Because it was something that I had not been exposed to mathematical all queries on such a high level by being an English major and I would just have to adjust.

23:39 Studying studying studying studying. It is truly. The scripture came came clear that the race isn't given to the Swift nor the battle to the strong, but he that endureth to the end.

23:54 We think of your faith.

23:59 One person comes my mind in particular Eugene weathers passed the weathers and how he was the Catalyst for you and I to meet because we met at Galilee on a Sunday where you came and you introduce yourself. And you says hi. I'm Marvin Marvin Jones, and I thought that you were going to ask me to join a Ministry cuz you said I'll be right back. Can you hold off for a minute and instead of joining a Ministry? You asked me out to lunch and you've been feeding me ever since.

24:36 But then I later learned it. I only got the date because the other date had canceled but nevertheless we get it anyway we can but that was that was a good place and it's where we began and became spiritually connected and we became one because of past the weather's in the Galilee Baptist Church had it new meaning to the concept of runner-up.

25:07 Yeah, and I want the prize you been never one ever since I had a major role in your life as well as the crow.

25:26 Andy o Andy Andre Andre Andre, but nevertheless known as Andy Andy was my roommate at Bennett. We were homegirls from Washington DC. We will line sisters play Gina Alpha Kappa Alpha roommates Justice and Andy now is leading a major.

25:58 Has a major position in the DC government fiscal fare agency and doing quite well doing quite well her husband Bruce and their three children Nia and Bruce II and Ciara known as Kiki and they're doing well my sister my friend talk to me a bit about line sister what that actually means my sister my sister means Dad when you're online for sorority when you're pledging for Sweetwater you literally

26:31 Are in a line according to hide I was number 10 in the line of 15 and Andy was number 13 and we pledge the sorority together. The concept was to create a Oneness on Oneness and mind a Oneness and spirit of Oneness and desire to lose your individual personality and to become a part of the group nowadays what we call it, especially in the business world. We call it teamwork. We call it being a team player.

27:09 I know a lot of times with the line sisters that that I guess yeah, you learn chance to I guess what's the purpose of the chance that you learn to create? Can you repeat one she had with with seeing it on the sake a lie. So that's it into all my sorrows.

27:36 What's the second thought it was singing on the cake a lie. I can't remember that's 20 years ago such a good time and such a a landmark and in our lives are growing in maturity maturing is is young women and feeling the need in the quest to be a part of a greater movement and we move 4th and being a sorority sisters and then doctrinated other women into sorority and living out its Creed to unite and to be Sisterhood and to be sisters with the world. I would imagine that crossing over must have been powerful. The attitude was the fact that you were at then college and when we when we crossed over that night, I can remember everyone was so weary in Mind and Spirit.

28:36 And we had determined that we weren't going to go on anymore. But the whole the whole idea of unity had permeated out spirits that one said if if I'm going to drop we're all going to drop so we we had a we had a made up mind the objective have been met we had decided to drop together. And that was the night that we all went over and we were true AKA we have been called into The Sisterhood.

29:10 Memorable times. Yes. Yes. Something else says something else, you know, you like to read a lot of books and

29:20 I've asked you this before a lot of times with books and movies. There's always one memorable line that's in a book or that's in a movie.

29:32 This is a two-part question.

29:34 Your favorite author and your most memorable line.

29:39 Well, my favorite author is

29:43 Maeve binchy she's from Dublin and I can't recall a line that in a in a book that I've read, but I can tell you why she's my favorite author. She writes about friendships. All of her books are about a group of people that come together because of one interaction one activity and then she binds their lives although very different. She buys their lives together for a common good that each one when that situation or incident is over everyone leaves out of that situation a different person in a better person as a result of the interactions that they shared among themselves.

30:42 And I've been Joy reading about those type of associations because I try to live my life that when I interact with people no matter on what level or what skill set that we're better off because of each other's company.

31:03 Talk to me about

31:07 Nelson Mandela and favorite your favorite quote.

31:12 Oh my favorite color quote from Nelson Mandela and I may paraphrase is that

31:20 It is wonderful.

31:23 To go to a place that remains the same but yet to be able to see the ways that you yourself have changed and that change is a result of education and I experienced that 2 weeks ago when I went home for my dad's 76 birthday and I went with the anticipation of experiencing sayings that have remained the same church family have remain the same dinner hat remain the same the setting of the table the placements of people my little brother still set for side me at the dinner table, even though we have added family members, we've added Generations, but these things have remained the same but yet I myself had changed because of education but

32:23 I could come back to that place that have remained the same and feel the comfort in the joys of the things that remain the same.

32:35 Nelson Mandela does a great job and freaking out memories of changed things in consistency is not always something that is left behind a lot of times. We we live our lives in search of things that are consistent things that remain the same homes that remain the same Love That Remains the Same or grows. So I think consistency is a two-edged sword that it's good and sometimes it can it can make us come place it where it's bad.

33:19 Nelson Mandela was a person at indeed has change and it is changing this world. Another person that changed the world is Martin Luther King what comes to your mind with that reason why I asked is because Martin Luther King gave his I Have a Dream speech on August 28th 1964.

33:40 You were there talk to me about that. Yes, I was there. I was there in my mother's womb and she went to the March on Washington. She and my dad and she said that it was an awesome experience to see such Unity among the masses of African-Americans. And even today as we heard on our way from Jackson up to Memphis D Millions more movement and that the movements of still going forth and I'll desire to create unity in the race. So when I think of Martin Luther King, I think I'm a dreamer and I believe that his dream is being realized it's being realized in US each day, and it's also being realized because we continue to strive for that Unity.

34:33 Forgot to add one of the place.

34:36 Cuba

34:37 00 Cuba and Cuba because we went in we were we went through Mexico into Cuba and Cuba was very interesting because

34:53 It was a place locked in time to see the old cars of the forties in the fifties and to see the buildings in the people or artists that were committed to their artwork, but yet may never be able to experience the Free World.

35:15 We just have a couple more minutes what I want you to do now. I just want you to close your eyes out and I just want you we just going to recap real fast.

35:27 Cuz we only have a couple minutes. We started off, Washington DC.

35:32 We went up to Greensboro went to Mississippi travel to places. We went to the place that you've traveled went to Bennett. Stop by Bennett. Spoke about leadership talk about life lessons lessons that you learned are we talked about how it and Jay Hillary and Louise your mother and your father. What do you see for yourself?

35:58 And the next five years as you continue to just think about that and then share it in the next 5 years. I see myself as in and also with you is just traveling the world and and being

36:18 Being people who make a change and God granting us the desires of our heart and to be placed in positions in which we can make a difference.

36:30 And living life to the fullest to live it to live to live the incredible dream and to live life more abundantly.

36:45 Well, I tell you this is really been exciting.

36:49 I'm just so glad that I was able to share this with you and you able to share it with not only me but with the

36:57 Future generations to come and I just enjoy this anything else you want to ask and I just want to thank you for being a part of my life now going on 12 years and exposing me to things that I probably never would have thought and dreamed of and I love you. I love you, too. Maybe we can close out with one about songs. You have to clip a difficult, but did dad take me to pee TV TV TV TV TV. Love you