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Born in 1966 to sharecroppers in the Jim Crow South, Selwyn Miles Jones was the youngest of thirteen children. In the small town of Goldsboro, North Carolina, Selwyn, and his siblings toiled alongside their parents in the tobacco fields and endured the most desolate and harsh conditions imaginable. The poverty, disrespect, hatred, and disenfranchisement Selwyn and his family experienced was unimaginable to most, yet commonplace for many Black farming families.

Selwyn realized early on that sharecropping was yet another version of enslavement. His mother made sure to show her children that there was a better life out there for them and encouraged Selwyn to dream big. Selwyn was determined to leave through any means necessary. His athletic prowess provided him with his ticket out. Through a short but intense arena football career, he was able to find financial solvency and fulfilled a childhood desire to purchase a home for his mother.

Though life continued to be filled with challenges (Selwyn lost three close family members tragically, including both his parents) he went on to become a successful salesman, hotel owner, and father with his dynamic wife Jodie.

Selwyn is George Floyd’s uncle (on his mother’s side). His sister Larcenia “Cissy” moved to Houston where she raised George as a single mother. Selwyn had a close relationship with his nephew and remembers George as “always smiling and laughing”.

Then on May 25, 2020, Selwyn’s life was forever changed. While watching the news, along with the rest of the world, he witnessed the unmerciful murder of his 46-year-old nephew, George Floyd. “It was the most horrific thing that I ever witnessed in my life.”

As George Floyd’s murder ignited the largest civil rights protest in US history, Selwyn Jones became an activist. Every day Selwyn commits to ending police brutality and systemic racism and bringing justice to his nephew’s senseless and cruel murder. Known affectionately as Uncle Selwyn Jones he promised “I will not let his death be in vain. I do not want my sons or anyone else to go through what my nephew endured for that 8 minutes 46 seconds. I want to be a beacon of light for those who face racism or adversity in this life.” He continues his personal growth by positively enhancing the lives of others in his work as a community & civil rights leader.