JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- It is easy to read about it in the history books but when you see it through the eyes of someone who lived it, you realize it is more than black and white photographs.
"In 1963, there were zero members on the City Council who were black," said Jones.
In 2013, there are five African-Americans on the City Council. Jones said a trailblazer was George E. Ross during Jacksonville's reconstruction period.
"He served from 1901 to 1907 and it took almost 60 years to the day before another African-American would serve on city council, " said Jones, "That would be Sally B. Mathis and Mary Singleton."
Warren Jones was first elected to the Jacksonville City Council in 1979, and became a member of the exclusive club of Council President.
Jones is one of two African Americans to have served as city council president. That was 20 years ago.
"There's still a lot of work to be done," said Jones.
Former Sheriff Nat Glover was the first African-American to be elected to a constitutional office.
Constitutional officers are the Sheriff, Tax Collector, State Attorney, Supervisor of Elections, Property Appraiser and Clerk of Courts.
"It is time for another African-American in one of those offices," said Jones.
On education, he remembers his neighborhood school, the one he was not allowed to attend even though it was half a mile from his home.
In 1963, John Gorrie was a white school. Black students were denied access.
"It was not integrated," said Jones, "The school system was not integrated.
Jones said he had to ride a bus to James Weldon, which was made up of all black students.
"It was to keep from integrating the school," he said.
In 2013, John Gorrie is a condominium community. Jones said 50 years later, he believes integration has helped.
"I think they've made a lot of strides integrating the schools," he said. "The magnet programs have been tremendous in that process."
But Jones said there are still challenges like test scores, and the graduation rate.
On housing, Jones, who is also a real estate agent, said there has been tremendous changes in fifty years.
"Now you can live anywhere, based on your ability to pay," he said.
When he looks back over fifty years, Jones, a husband, father, community leader, and native son said a lot has changed in Jacksonville but there's more to be done to remove the vestiges of racism.
An area that needs more attention is the quality of life in Jacksonville's African-American community.