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Donald J. Jackson

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Information about Donald J. Jackson

Profile image of Donald J. Jackson

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Media Company Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken (Jerk)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
No Problems, Only Opportunities.

Birthplace

Born:
9/18/1943
Birth Location:
Chicago, Illinois

Profession

Category:
MediaMakers
Occupation(s):
Media Company Entrepreneur

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Blue
Favorite Food:
Chicken (Jerk)
Favorite Time of Year:
Fall
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Bahamas
Favorite Quote:
No Problems, Only Opportunities.

Birthplace

Born:
9/18/1943
Birth Location:
Chicago
See how Donald J. Jackson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Donald J. Jackson was born on September 18, 1943 in Chicago, Illinois to Lillian Peachy and John Wesley Jackson. As founder and CEO of Central City Productions, Jackson has dedicated his life to filling the gap left by mainstream media. For more than 30 years, he has produced and marketed quality television shows that emphasize African American culture.

Jackson graduated from Marshall High School in 1961, where he played basketball on a championship team and earned a basketball scholarship to Northwestern University. He was captain of the basketball team and graduated in 1965 with a B.S. in radio, TV and film. Jackson began working in advertising for RR Donnelley as an account executive. Then, in 1967, Chicago radio station WVON hired him as the sales manager.

In 1970, Jackson founded Central City Marketing to market, promote and produce African American media. Central City Productions (CCP) grew out of Central City Marketing in 1978 and started producing and syndicating television programs and managing advertising sales with Jackson at the helm. The programs include: The Bud Billiken Back-to-School Parade, the first and only televised black parade; MBR: Minority Business Report, the first nationally syndicated business show highlighting minorities; The Stellar Gospel Music Awards, which Jackson began in 1985; and Know Your Heritage, the first televised quiz show featuring African American students.

Jackson is Chairman of the Board of the DuSable Museum of African American History and has served as a board member of the Chicago Transit Authority, Columbia College Chicago, Gateway Foundation and Junior Achievement of Chicago. He helped to found the Alliance of Business Leaders and Entrepreneurs (A.B.L.E.). Jackson and his wife, Rosemary, have two children and a grandson.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Donald Jackson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Donald Jackson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Donald Jackson describes his parents' family backgrounds
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Donald Jackson describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Donald Jackson describes his father's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Donald Jackson describes his mother's personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Donald Jackson talks about his grandmother, Nana, passing for white
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Donald Jackson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood, pt. 1
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Donald Jackson describes the sights, sounds, and smells of his childhood, pt. 2
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Donald Jackson describes his first encounter with racism
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Donald Jackson describes trying out for basketball at Marshall High School in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Donald Jackson describes how he met his wife Rosemary Jackson, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Donald Jackson describes how he met his wife Rosemary Jackson, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Donald Jackson describes his experience at John Marshall Metropolitan High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Donald Jackson talks about receiving a scholarship to Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Donald Jackson describes the racism he encountered as a basketball player at Northwestern University, pt. 1
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Donald Jackson describes the racism he encountered as a basketball player at Northwestern University, pt. 2
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Donald Jackson describes becoming the first black intern at WBBM-TV
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Donald Jackson describes the racism he encountered at WBBM-TV in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Donald Jackson describes his experience working at WVON Radio in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Donald Jackson talks about why he left WVON Radio in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Donald Jackson describes leaving WVON Radio in Chicago, Illinois
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Donald Jackson describes starting Central City Marketing
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Donald Jackson describes his experience broadcasting the Bud Billiken Day Parade on WGN-TV, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Donald Jackson describes his experience broadcasting the Bud Billiken Day Parade on WGN-TV, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Donald Jackson describes the success of the televised Bud Billiken Day Parade on WGN-TV
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Donald Jackson describes leaving merchandising to enter broadcasting
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Donald Jackson describes negotiating with Don Cornelius of Soul Train, pt. 1
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Donald Jackson describes negotiating with Don Cornelius of Soul Train, pt. 2
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Donald Jackson describes the start of the Soul Train Music Awards
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Donald Jackson describes leaving Tribune Central City Productions to produce television independently
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Donald Jackson describes working with Don Cornelius after leaving Tribune Central City Productions
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Donald Jackson talks about the difficulty of increasing the amount of television programing for black audiences
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Donald Jackson describes the need for a black broadcast network
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Donald Jackson describes his plans for starting a black broadcast network, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Donald Jackson describes his plans for starting a black broadcast network, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Donald Jackson reflects upon his legacy
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Donald Jackson talks about his determination to create a black broadcast network
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Donald Jackson talks about how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Donald Jackson narrates his photographs, pt. 1
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Donald Jackson narrates his photographs, pt. 2