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Jim Jones Promised Racial and Social Equality

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A photo taken in Jonestown – 1978 shows a classroom setting.

First published on the 26th of April, 2020 by Patrick Carpen.

Last updated: April 23, 2023 at 18:56 pm

During the 1970s, when racial tensions were high between whites and blacks of the United States, Jim Jones promised his followers something that portrayed him as a champion of the oppressed: racial and social equality. In this regard, The People’s Temple was made up of about 69% blacks, 25% whites, and 6% mixed races. Little did the followers know that Jim Jones meant them no good.

Jones adopted an African-American child and named the child after himself: Jim Jones Jr. This was the first African-American child to have been adopted by white parents in the state of Indiana, USA. He also adopted children of other ethnicity including Korean and Native Indian. He called his family the “rainbow family.”

Founder of the People’s Temple, Jim Jones, championed himself as a symbol of God’s love, promising racial and social equality. But the People’s Temple soon came under investigation by US authorities – labeling it a dangerous cult. This prompted Jones to flee to Guyana, South America where he promised his followers that they would create a Utopia – a perfect state were all would be free, happy, and equal.

Many of the photos taken in Jonestown portrayed racial intermingling, interaction, and harmony. The adopted son of Jim Jones, Jim Jones Jr., was out playing basketball at the Burnham Court in Georgetown, Guyana when the mass murder occurred. Jones called the young boy and told him to commit suicide along with the others who were with him, but they defied the order and lived to tell the gruesome tale.

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