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Jo Jones Spivey

Gender: Female

Ethnicity: Caucasian

Biographical/Historical note:

Jo Jones Spivey, born September 26, 1917, was a native of Asheville, North Carolina, and a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Journalism. Jones reported for newspapers in Coffeyville, Kansas, and in Asheville, Raleigh, and Greensboro, North Carolina. In 1951, she began working for the Greensboro Record as police reporter, an unusual assignment for a woman at that time. During the 1960s, she covered local civil rights events and spent twenty three years assigned to the local government beat. Spivey reported on many sit-ins, demonstrations, and controversies, including the integration of city’s five-and-dime stores, the 1955 public golf course integration, and the segregation of the city-owned Lindley Park swimming pool.

In 1971, the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce honored her with the Edward R. Murrow Award for journalistic achievement—the first woman thus honored. In 1974, Spivey was recognized by the Governor’s Council on Employment of the Handicapped and received both the Distinguished Service Award and the Citizen of the Year award for a story she did on the barriers that disabled people experience; the story led to local implementation of sidewalks, parking spaces, and building modifications for the handicapped. In 1977, she became the local business reporter for the News and Record and in 1984, she retired from reporting. She was honored by the city government at a banquet attended by the mayor and members of City Council. In 1990, Spivey received the Stepping Stone to Freedom Award for her reporting of the sit-ins. During that same year, she organized a permanent display at the Greensboro Historical Museum to honor the 30th anniversary of the sit-in movement. She was also instrumental in getting Sycamore Street renamed February One Place. Jo Spivey died in Greensboro on April 15, 2003, at the age of 85.

Items created by this individual or group:
Item thumbnail image Oral history interview with Jo Spivey by Eugene Pfaff
Date: May 30, 1979
By: Jo Jones Spivey
From: GreensboroVOICES Collection

In this transcript of a May 30, 1979, oral history interview conducted by Eugene Pfaff with Jo Spivey, Spivey primarily discusses her role as a news reporter in covering the civil rights activities...

Item thumbnail image Oral history interview with Jo Spivey by Kathleen Hoke
Date: June1990
By: Jo Jones Spivey
From: GreensboroVOICES Collection

In this transcript of an oral history interview conducted circa June, 1990, by Kathleen Hoke with Jo Spivey, Spivey primarily discusses race relations in Greensboro throughout the 1950s and 1960s, ...

Item thumbnail image Oral history interview with Jo Spivey by Jim Schlosser
Date: December 14, 2001
By: Jo Jones Spivey
From: GreensboroVOICES Collection

In this transcript of a December 14, 2001, oral history interview conducted by Jim Schlosser with Jo Spivey, Spivey recalls her coverage of civil rights activities in Greensboro for the

Item thumbnail image Woolworth serves up anniversary breakfast
Date: February 1, 1980
By: Jo Jones Spivey
From: Clarence Lee Harris Papers

In this February 1, 1980 Greensboro Record article, Jo Spivey reports on a breakfast served at the Woolworth store lunch counter on the twentieth anniversary of the s...

Item thumbnail image 4 Lonely Blacks Woke A Nation: Decade Of Protest Began Here
Date: January 30, 1970
By: Jo Jones Spivey
From: Clarence Lee Harris Papers

In this January 30, 1970 Greensboro Record article, Jo Spivey recalls the February 1, 1960 sit-in at the Greensboro Woolworth store, orchestrated by North Carolina A...

Item thumbnail image State marker for '60 sit-in on commission's agenda
Date: November 15, 1979
By: Jo Jones Spivey
From: Clarence Lee Harris Papers

In this November 15, 1979 Greensboro Record article, Jo Spivey reports on efforts to obtain a North Carolina historical marker at the site of the 1960 Woolworth store...