Jones (Ambrosia Wysinger) Papers

Ambrosia Wysinger Jones (1905-1999) was born on August 30, 1905 in Oakland, California. She was the granddaughter of the noted civil rights activist, Edmond Wysinger, an early advocate of desegregating the California public school system in the 1890s. In the 1940s, she married Hillarie Jones and the two owned and operated a number of business enterprises, including a chain of barbershops in Oakland and ‘The Alameda’ Barbeque Pit and Union Barbershop in Alameda, California. In 1960, they started Charm Beauty College in Oakland becoming the first African Americans to own and operate a beauty college in Northern California. They also operated an additional beauty school in Richmond and started the first black travel agency, Charm Travel Agency, that catered to African Americans looking to vacation in Africa and the Caribbean.

The Ambrosia Wysinger Jones Papers includes photographs, scrapbooks, correspondence, newspaper clippings, legal documents, and ephemera that document the various business activities and family history of Ambrosia Wysinger Jones. A majority of the papers are family photographs of the Jones and Wysinger families and Jones’ beauty school and travel agency businesses. The papers also include four scrapbooks with assorted cards, photographs, and newspaper clippings related to the Jones family and business activities, as well as two guest books with signatures of visitors to the Jones home. Correspondence in the collection is most related to scholarships given to students attending the Charm beauty school, and a small number of assorted programs.

Dates: circa 1860s-1991
Collection number: MS 27
Creator: Jones, Ambrosia Wysinger, 1905-1999.
Creator: Jones, Hillarie, 1918-1975.
Collection Size: 1.5 linear feet (3 boxes + 1 oversized box)

Guide to the Ambrosia Wysinger Jones Papers

Available at the African American Museum & Library at Oakland (AAMLO)

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