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Carl Kenwood Jones, also known as "The Father", is the secondary antagonist from the 1996 book Push by Sapphire, and the 2009 film Precious based on the book. He is the late boyfriend of Mary Lee Johnson and the father of Claireece "Precious" Jones. After sexually abusing his own daughter Precious (which bore two children as a result), he died years later from complications due to the AIDS virus.

He was portrayed by Rodney "Bear" Jackson in the 2009 film.

Push (novel)

Precious has recently fallen pregnant with her second child, the result of being raped by her Father, also the father of Precious' first child. The school has decided to send her to an alternative school because she is pregnant. Precious is furious, but the counselor later visits Precious' home and convinces her to enter an alternative school called Each One Teach One. Despite her mother's insistence that she apply for welfare, Precious enrolls in the school. 

While in the hospital for the birth of her second child, a boy she names Abdul Jamal Louis Jones, Precious tells a social worker that her first child is living with her grandmother and that Carl is the person who fathered the children. The confession leads to Precious' mother having her welfare taken away. When Precious returns home with her newborn baby, her mother is enraged and chases her out of the house.

With her attitude changing and her confidence growing, Precious finds herself thinking about having a boyfriend, a real relationship with someone near her age, with someone who attracts her interest. Her only sexual experience thus far has been the rape and sexual abuse by her father and, to a lesser extent, her mother. Although she tries to move beyond the trauma of her childhood and distance herself from her parents, an unwelcome visit from Precious' mother reveals that her father has died from AIDS. Tests verifies that Precious is HIV positive, but both her children are not. Her classmate Rita encourages Precious to join an incest support group, as well as an HIV positive group. The meetings provide a source of support and friendship for Precious as well as the revelation that her color (skin color or ethnicity if one can call it) and socioeconomic background were not necessarily the cause of her abuse.

Precious (2009 film)

Carl is a athletic looking, African-American man living, at least in part, with his family in a Section 8 tenement. Despite being married to, someone else, a light skinned woman, who also has two (other) children, of their own. He seems to prefer his extra-marital relationship, to Mary Lee Jones. He also enjoys being an "affectionate" father to Precious Jones, his only daughter with Mary, who becomes his second "mistress" of sorts. Mary has been in love with Carl, since she was sixteen, thinks he can do no wrong, even when he molests Precious, to which she later helps him do, possibly to keep his attentions. Mary also does not seem to care or mind that Carl has another wife and family, possibly out of blind, crazy love.

However, things took a bad turn for the family in 1974, during Carl and Mary's sexual session when Carl began to fondle the 3-year-old Precious, who was sleeping in the same bed just next to her parents. Mary began to grow concerned about this, but Carl told Mary to "shut her fat ass up" and mind her own business, as he continued to fondle their infant daughter. By 1987, a 16-year-old Claireece "Precious" Jones is impregnated twice by Carl and, when the second pregnancy is discovered, forced to attend a alternative school to continue her education.

One afternoon, Precious is seen at home, washing dishes for her mother. Mary asks Precious if she is going to start cooking. Mary then responds by throwing a heavy pan at Precious, knocking her out. Flashbacks show Carl unbuckling his pants and using his belt to restrain his daughter as he raped her, even talking to her in a casual voice. These flashbacks of the rape persisted until Mary throws water on Precious's face. Said flashbacks echo later, when Precious trying to learn how to read, as well.

His first child/grandchild, "Mongo" (short for "mongoloid"), has Down Syndrome and is being cared for by Precious' maternal grandmother Tootsie, though Mary forces the family to pretend that Mongo lives with her and Precious so she can receive extra money from the government. Precious finds a way out of her traumatic daily life by escaping into daydreams. In her mind, she has created an alternate world where she is loved and appreciated.

Ms. Weiss, the social worker, learns about incest in the household when Precious lets slip who fathered her children. It is revealed that Carl desired to take his own daughter in marriage, which Precious claims is "not even legal!".

While Precious is in the hospital giving birth to her second child, Abdul, she meets John McFadden, a nursing assistant who shows her kindness, possibly being the first male to do ever so towards Precious. After her mother deliberately drops 3-day-old Abdul and hits her for her getting terminated from welfare services upon the baby boy's birth, Precious fights back and flees her home with Abdul.

Precious's mother soon returns to inform her that her father has died of AIDS, which explains his absence for the rest of the film. Precious later learns that she is HIV-positive, though Abdul and Mongo are not. Feeling dejected, she steals her case file from Ms. Weiss's office.

Ms. Weiss confronts Mary about her abuse of Precious, pointing to specific incidents going back to when Precious was 3 years old. Mary tearfully attempts to explain her lack of intervention and years of abuse, but Precious remains distant. Leaving, she tells her mother that she will not be seeing her again. Mary begs Ms. Weiss to help her get Precious back, but a shaken Ms. Weiss brushes past without a word.


  • Carl has repeatedly raped his daughter, and her mother has gone as far as to abuse her, among other acts.
  • In the book, it is no secret that Carl impregnated his daughter when she was 12 or that her mother beats her; when she gives birth the first time, Precious tells the nurse filling out the birth certificate that she and her baby have the same father, but the nurse's only reaction is to tsk-tsk her over being pregnant so young.
  • Carl has expressed incestuous interest in his daughter Precious. Even desired to marry her, which Precious dislikes and is unwilling to do as such a thing is illegal in many states within the U.S., including New York.