"Blyden Jackson grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, during the 1910s and 1920s. Jackson completed his bachelor's degree at Wilberforce University and attended one year of graduate school at Columbia University before returning to Louisville, where he worked as a teacher for the Works Progress Administration (WPA) from the early 1930s into the mid-1940s. In 1945, Jackson moved to Nashville, Tennessee, to accept a position teaching English at Fisk University. Having received a Rosenwald Fellowship with the aid of Charles S. Johnson, president of Fisk University, Jackson completed his doctoral degree at the University of Michigan in 1952. Two years later, Jackson left Fisk University to teach at Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where he remained for fifteen years. In 1969, he accepted a position at the University of North Caorlina at Chapel Hill. As the first African American professor at UNC, Jackson also became the first African American professor at a traditionally white university in the Southeast. Jackson finished his academic career at UNC, also serving as the associate dean of the graduate school before retiring in 1983."--From Oral Histories of the American South biography.
Archival Collections and Reference Resources
- Freedom summer digital collection (Wisconsin Historical Society)
- Oral Histories of the American South: The Civil Rights Movement (Documenting the American South (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill))