Jones teaches and studies the history of African Americans, labor, women, family, and the South. She is currently most interested in labor history, and the way that large-scale economic transformations affect ordinary workers. Her first book, Soldiers of Light and Love: Northern Teachers and Georgia Blacks, 1865-1873 (1980), focused on teachers who went South after the Civil War to teach blacks. She became interested in the history of black working women, which became Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work, and the Family from Slavery to the Present (1985). That led her to an interest in poor whites, which was the topic of her third book, The Dispossessed, America’s Underclasses from the Civil War to the Present (1992). From there the racial division of labor-how certain groups get assigned certain kinds of work-became her fourth book, American Work, published in 1998. Now she has just completed a book about growing up in Delaware in the 1950s, a project she describes as an entirely new venture for her: a memoir, history, and current analysis of Delaware.