By Dedrick D. Henry, Sr.
One of the founders of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) ; longtime educator, writer and journalist, Charles Stone, Jr. died on Sunday, April 6 at an assisted living facility in Chapel Hill, NC. He was 89.
Stone served as a Tuskegee Airmen in World War II. He was the first Black columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News and he also worked as an editor and writer from 1972 to 1991. In 1991, Stone was hired as a professor at the University of North Carolina before leaving after 14 years. Before UNC he taught journalism at the University of Delaware.
An outspoken writer and editor, Stone was instrumental in influencing Black publications in New York, Washington and Chicago during the early 60’s. He expressed his writing talents, knowledge and education in a time of racial strife to the Black readership in the Daily News. Many wanted criminals chose to be taken into custody by Stone because with Stone the authorities would be held accountable for all wrong doing, thereafter. Stone also used his writing to urge the Kennedy Administration of the social injustices Blacks were suffering throughout the United States.
In 1981, he helped negotiate the release of six Pennsylvania guards being held hostage by prisoners. Stone once served as an adviser to US Rep. Clayton Powell (NY). Stone was the monumental driving force that helped launch the founding of the NAB J. Stone has written two books entitled ‘Black Political Power in America’ and the novel King Strut.