Inventory of the Dwight A. Jones Papers, 1968 - 1973, 1991 (bulk 1968-1969)

Winston-Salem State University

Winston-salem State University Logo

Contact Information:

Winston-Salem State University Archives
C.G. O'Kelly Library
Winston-Salem, N.C. 27110

Descriptive Summary

Repository: Winston-Salem State University. Archives
Creator: Jones, Dwight A., 1948-
Title: Dwight A. Jones Papers, 1968-1973, 1991(bulk 1968-1969)
Language of Material: Material in English
Location: For current information on the location of these materials, please consult Winston-Salem State University Archives.
Abstract: Dwight A. Jones (1948- ) served a tour of duty in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969 in the U.S. Army.
His papers primarily consist of letters written to family members and photographs from Vietnam, documenting Jones' experiences as an African-American combat soldier and his difficulty reconciling racism within the military, national patriotism, and Black Nationalism. The collection also documents the effects of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder experienced by Jones and his subsequent recovery.
Extent: .4 linear feet, 1 archival box
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Administrative Information

Access Restrictions

Collection is open for research

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Copyright Notice

Copyright for official university records is held by Winston-Salem State University. Copyright for other materials is retained by the creators, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

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Preferred Citation

[Identification of item], Dwight A. Jones Papers (MS 6), Winston-Salem State University Archives, Winston-Salem, NC, USA.

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Acquisitions Information

Gift of Dwight A. Jones, 2003.

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Processing Information

Processed by Carter Cue, Feb. 2005 and Cat S. McDowell, April 2005

Edited and encoded by Cat S. McDowell, April 2005

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Biographical Note

Dwight Anthony Jones was born August 31, 1948, in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, to Evans and Ruby Jones. Dwight and his older sister Patricia Lynn obtained their primary and secondary educations in the segregated schools of Winston-Salem/Forsyth County. In high school, Jones was a noted All-City defensive lineman, and helped lead Carver High to several championships. Following graduation from high school in 1966, he began working a series of jobs at local factories. In 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, Jones was drafted into the United States Army. After completing his basic training at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, and advanced infantry training at Fort Ord, California, Jones was deployed to Vietnam, where he served as an ammunition bearer for a machine gun unit for nine months. During his stint in Vietnam, Jones experienced the usual horrors of war unique to combat soldiers: continual firefights with enemy soldiers, disease, sleepless nights in mosquito-infested climates, ambushes, injury to fellow soldiers, and death. When his tour of duty in Vietnam ended in October of 1969, he returned to Winston-Salem. Six days after his arrival, Jones was involved in a car accident and sustained a severely broken leg that required surgery and months of hospital rehabilitation. In the summer of 1970, Jones was discharged from the U.S. military and enrolled that fall as a student at North Carolina A&T State University. However, as a result of a military record error, he was denied G.I. education bill funding and was forced to discontinue his studies. Upon leaving N.C. A&T State University, Jones worked as a store clerk and later a bus driver for the Experiment for Self-Reliance, a social aid program in Winston-Salem.

From 1971 to 1972, Jones had a series of episodes that included several arrests. He was admitted to a hospital for psychiatric care, where he was treated for Vietnam-induced Post-traumatic Stress Disorder. Upon his release, Jones became a long-distance truck driver. He later moved to Atlanta, GA, where he obtained a diploma in barbering and cosmetology. He then worked as a platform artist, trainer, and motivational speaker for three large cosmetology companies - Zoto's International, Clairol International, and La Marick's Beauty Corporation. Jones later opened and operated a hair salon in Charlotte, North Carolina, for over five years. In the summer of 1991, Jones closed his hair salon and enrolled in Winston-Salem State University. He graduated from Winston-Salem State University in 1996 with the B.A. degree in English. Following graduation, he was employed at the institution in several positions, including library stacks manager, Academic Resource Center computer lab manager, and English instructor. After 5 years at WSSU, he turned to work as a consulting editor and columnist for the AC Phoenix newspaper. In 2003 Jones began writing a book on his experiences during Vietnam and as a civilian, and began to pursue a career in Christian ministry

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Collection Overview

The Dwight Jones papers primarily consist of letters, including greeting cards, a telegram, and incomplete drafts, written by Jones to his mother and other family members from Vietnam. These materials document Jones' experiences as a combat soldier in Vietnam and his struggles to reconcile issues of racism within the military, national patriotism, and Black Nationalism. Common topics in the letters are Jones' combat activities, his physical health and safety, financial problems, requests for cigarettes and care packages, messages to friends back home, inquiries about loved ones and activities in Winston-Salem, and leave plans and experiences. Post-war materials document Jones' October 1969 car accident, his correspondence with the Army regarding disability and financial support, and the effects of Post-traumatic Stress Disorder he experienced. The collection also contains photographs of Jones taken in Vietnam, a biographical newspaper article, and miscellanea that provides insight into his life. These materials are arranged chronologically, with correspondence preceding other materials.

Online Catalog Headings

Jones, Dwight A., 1948- .
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--African Americans.
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Psychological aspects.
Vietnamese Conflict, 1961-1975--Veterans--Mental health.
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Container List

Dwight Jones Papers
Box Folder Description
1 1 Correspondence, May 28, 1968
2 Correspondence, October 8, 1968
3 Correspondence, October 15, 1968
4 Correspondence, October 21, 1968
5 Correspondence, November 6, 1968
6 Correspondence, November 10, 1968
7 Correspondence, November 17, 1968
8 Correspondence, November, 1968
9 Correspondence, November 24, 1968
10 Correspondence, November 28, 1968
11 Correspondence, December 6, 1968
12 Correspondence, December 17, 1968
13 Correspondence, December 20, 1968
14 Correspondence, December 23, 1968
15 Correspondence, December 30, 1968
16 Correspondence, 1968
17 Correspondence, January 27, 1969
18 Correspondence, January 30, 1969
19 Correspondence, February 2, 1969
20 Correspondence, February 4, 1969
21 Correspondence, February 23, 1969
22 Correspondence, March 10, 1969
23 Correspondence, April 16, 1969
24 Correspondence, April 28, 1969
25 Correspondence, ca. April 1969
26 Correspondence, May, 1969
27 Correspondence, May or June 1969
28 Correspondence, ca. July 1969
29 Correspondence, Aug. 1969
30 Correspondence, Aug. 1969
31 Correspondence, Aug or Sept. 1969
32 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
33 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
34 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
35 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
36 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
37 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
38 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
39 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
40 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
41 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
42 Correspondence, 1968 or 1969
43 Correspondence (Incomplete), 1968 or 1969
44 Correspondence (Incomplete), 1968 or 1969
45 Correspondence (Incomplete), 1968 or 1969
46 Correspondence (Incomplete), 1968 or 1969
47 Correspondence (Incomplete), 1968 or 1969
48 Correspondence, 1971
49 Correspondence, 1973
50 Correspondence, September 13, 1991
51 Correspondence, October 22, 1991
52 Correspondence, November 29, 1991
53 Correspondence, December 4, 1991
54 Greeting Card, c. 1968/1969
55 Greeting Card, c. 1968/1969?
56 Photographs, Feb. 1969
57 Forsyth County Dept. of Social Services Receipt, March 8, 1972
58 Newspaper Article, December 24, 1972
59 Prayer Leaflets, n.d.
Photocopies (10 folders)