Watch CBS News

Dr. Clarence Jones, MLK Jr.'s speechwriter & personal attorney, says alliance of Jewish and Black communities turned U.S. around

Martin Luther King Jr.'s speechwriter on strong alliance of Jewish & Black communities
Martin Luther King Jr.'s speechwriter on strong alliance of Jewish & Black communities 02:20

NEW YORK -- Dr. Clarence Jones is living history of what it's like to create change in places that seem incapable.

The personal attorney and speechwriter for Martin Luther King is back in New York and explains he spent years with the leader in his home on Douglas Avenue in Riverdale.

"Just being here provokes a resurgence of lots of memories," said Jones.

On MLK's 95th birthday, he says he feels a sense of joy and reflection. 

"I think of how difficult it has been and how difficult the journey has been to get us where we are today as a nation," he said.

The 93-year-old explains the dreams they accomplished to end segregation in the U.S. was fueled by two groups coming together.

"The negro community and the Jewish community ... that alliance was so powerful it turned this country around," he added.

Through the injustices of genocide and ethnic cleansing Jews experienced in the Holocaust, their shared struggles with the Black community enabled rabbis to join forces with MLK in the civil rights movement. 

"This is an American history story of diversity, where two different immunities were able to help transform the conscience of America," said Dr. Shari Rogers, the Co-Founder of Spill The Honey.

Dr. Jones now works with Spill The Honey, an organization that builds Black and Jewish relations through education. He explains bridging these communities together will continue to inspire change.

"To save the soul of America, that's what Martin challenges us to do," said Jones.

You can email Shosh with Bronx story ideas by CLICKING HERE

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.