Raised by his grandmother 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. 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: two editions of 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. He is currently working on a new book titled, Colin, Confederates, and Con-Artists: Essays on Race, Sport and America.
Jones has emerged as a strong public scholar doing especially innovative work on American race, politics, leadership, and male identity. He has served as a local, national, and international social and political analyst across various media including appearances on the BBC, Canadian Broadcast Corporation's The Current with Anna Maria Tremonti, Democracy Now with Amy Goodman, HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel, The Katie Couric Show, E! Entertainment, a variety of NPR and PBS programs,BET, and Al Jazeera in English.
Jones is the host of the award-winning "Ricky Jones Show" on The REAL 93.1 FM Louisville from iHeart Media. He is a contributing columnist for the Louisville Courier-Journal as well Louisville’s most popular alternative weekly, the Louisville Eccentric Observer (LEO). His LEO column, Keeping Up with The Jones, is multiple time winner of the Best Minority Reporting award from the Louisville Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ). He was awarded SPJ's 2018 "Best Opinion Writer Award" for his Courier-Journal column which provides some of the most penetrating and controversial writing in the publication. Jones has been named one of Louisville’s 25 Young Future Leaders by Louisville Magazine and was also recognized as one of DIVERSE Issues in Higher Education's "25 to Watch in Academia."