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During her time there, professor and activist W.E.B. Du Bois would become one of her closest mentors and encouraged her to become a writer. Jones eventually earned a degree in Library Science from the University of Michigan in 1938. From that point, she worked as a head librarian for Dillard University and Southern University.

Although Jones became a social worker, the call of the library was still strong. In 1970, she made the first of several historic achievements when she was appointed as the first Black director of the Detroit Public Library. She served as its director until her retirement in 1978. In 1976, history was made once more when she became the first African-American and woman to be appointed director of the American Library Association. “It never dawned on me to doubt my ability as far as race was concerned, ” Jones once said. Jones died in September 2012 at the age of 99.

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Little Known Black History Fact: Clara Stanton Jones  was originally published on

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