Alphas trailblazers — again
Free Press staff report | 5/25/2023, 6 p.m.
When Tyler Parker, a member of the Henrico County Chapter of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, was informed by the Virginia Board of Historic Resources on Sept. 15, 2022, that its application for a “Trailblazers of a New Era” highway marker was approved, he knew the organization’s next steps.
As chairman of the Jones Burial Plot Restoration at Evergreen Cemetery, Mr. Parker then helped organize a ceremony to highlight the marker and recognize the trailblazers it soon would be erected to honor, Dr. Joseph Endom Jones and Rosa Kinckle Jones, prominent educators whose son Eugene Kinkly Jones, would go on to co-found Alpha Phi Alpha. The sign, installed at the cemetery on Evergreen Road in Richmond reads:
Dr. Joseph Endom Jones and Rosa Kinckle Jones, prominent educators in post-Emancipation Richmond, are buried here. Joseph Jones, enslaved at birth, taught at Virginia Union University for 45 years. A minister, he served as corresponding secretary of the Baptist Foreign Mission Convention and installed many Black clergymen in pastorates. His wife, Rosa, earned a teaching degree from Howard University and studied at the New England Conservatory of Music. She taught music at Hartshorn Memorial College for decades and led the Woman’s Union Beneficial Department, an insurance company. Their son Eugene Kinckle Jones led the National Urban League and in 1906 co-founded Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.
On Saturday, May 20, several members of various Alpha Phi Alpha chapters attended a ceremony in recognition of the marker and the Joneses.