Jones, Barbara Althea

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Jones, Barbara Althea

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died 1969


Barbara Jones described herself as “a geneticist by vocation, a poet by avocation”. Born in Trinidad, she graduated with a B.Sc. in agricultural botany from Imperial College of the University of the West Indies, the first woman to graduate from that institution. She went to Cornell University on a Trinidad Government Scholarship, receiving her M.A. (1962) and Ph.D. (1965) in plant breeding and genetics, becoming the first woman in the West Indies to earn a doctorate. Jones came to Canada in 1966 to do postdoctoral research at Macdonald College. From 1966 to 1968, she taught genetics and biology at Marianopolis College, Sir George Williams University and McGill. In 1968 she was appointed Assistant Professor of genetics at McGill. She passed away a year later. At the time of her death, Jones had published two volumes of poetry and had several others in press or in the planning stages. She also published in literary journals and gave frequent talks and readings, in person, on radio and on television. Her poetry and other writings revolved around the theme of black experience; their goal was, in her own words, "towards a new black man, towards the full realization of man's consciousness and potential, and towards a new humanism."


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