Charles Sumner “Chuck” Stone Jr. was a former Tuskegee Airman and co-founder of the National Association of Black Journalists. Stone passed away last Sunday in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. In his final years, he served as a journalism professor, teaching censorship and magazine writing at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Stone made his voice heard through writing about about civil rights and discrimination, as well as advising U.S. Rep. Adam Clayton Powell of New York. Though Stone Jr. was born in St. Louis, Missouri he was raised in Connecticut. He received his undergraduate degree from Wesleyan University and earned a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Chicago.
He began his career in education as a lecturer, but by the 1980’s, Stone was working as a fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. He then taught journalism at the University of Delaware. In 1972, Chuck Stone was hired as the first black columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News.
Three years later, he became one of 43 journalists that founded the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ) in Washington D.C. Stone was elected the first President of the organization. His legacy was strengthened in 1981 when he helped to negotiate the release of six guards held hostage by inmates at Graterford state prison.