ISBN 1-55022-603-7
6" x 9", 220pp, paper
40 b&w photos, $19.95 CDN

Spider Jones was a boy with a dream — to become a radio personality. Born poor in the black section of Windsor, Ontario, his mother filled the home with gospel music and hope. The young Charles Jones was out-going, friendly, optimistic.

Then he was hit by racism.
In school, racist attacks became an everyday occurrence. His confidence evaporated and his self-esteem plummeted. At first he didn’t fight back. He became withdrawn. But then he became angry. Finally, when the attacks didn’t stop, he exploded and attacked his tormentors. For this Charles was moved into a class for slow learners: the Ding Dong Class. At age fourteen he gave up on the system. He dropped out and left school behind for good … or so he thought. He began roaming the streets with gangs. For twenty years Spider lived on the streets with a gun and a blade in his pocket. He brawled, he robbed, and he was on an all-too-familiar dead-end course. He spent much time in jail. But the dream he had shoved aside refused to die.

Then something miraculous happened. He met Jackie Robinson, the woman who would save his life and become his anchor and his wife of more than thirty years. With her encouragement, and at age thirty-five, Spider Jones went back to college. After five years of night school and menial days jobs, he finally found success when he began his radio career. Out of the Darkness charts that gritty and determined rise from street punk to radio personality and inspirational speaker.

Michael Hughes is a writer and creative director who has owned and operated his own advertising company in Toronto for twenty-five years. He is a good friend of Spider Jones and has spent several years helping Spider write his life story.

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