Raised by his grandmother, Linnie, in Atlanta's Carver Homes housing project, Ricky L. Jones not only became the first member of his immediate family to graduate high school, but by age 28 he also earned a Ph.D. Currently, he is Professor and Chair of the University of Louisville's Department of Pan-African Studies. He is also director of the University's Center on Race and Inequality (CRI). Jones was educated as an undergraduate at the United States Naval Academy and Morehouse College. He was only the second African American to receive a Ph.D. in Political Science from the University of Kentucky where he specialized in Political Philosophy and Comparative Politics.
Jones has served as a Lyman T. Johnson Fellow at the University of Kentucky and a National Science Foundation Multi-Cultural Teaching Fellow at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His books include: Black Haze: Violence, Sacrifice, and Manhood in Black Greek-Letter Fraternities and What’s Wrong with Obamamania?: Black America, Black Leadership, and the Death of Political Imagination. He has also written scores of scholarly and magazine articles, book chapters, and opinion columns.
Jones has emerged as a strong public scholar doing especially innovative work on American politics, leadership and male identity. He has served as a local, national, and international social and political analyst across various media including appearances on “Democracy Now with Amy Goodman”, a variety of NPR and PBS programs, BET, HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel", The Katie (Couric) Show, E! Entertainment, and Al Jazeera in English.
He is also a columnist for Louisville’s most popular alternative weekly, the Louisville Eccentric Observer. His monthly column, Keeping up with the Jones is a three time winner of the Best Minority Reporting award from the Louisville Society of Professional Journalists. He has been named one of Louisville’s 25 Young Future Leaders by Louisville Magazine and was recently recognized as one of DIVERSE Issues in Higher Education’s “25 to Watch” in Academia.