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Joe Dickson

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Information about Joe Dickson

Profile image of Joe Dickson

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Collard Greens, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
3/5/1933
Birth Location:
Montgomery, Alabama

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
Occupation(s):
Civil Rights Activist

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Black
Favorite Food:
Collard Greens, Fish
Favorite Time of Year:
Summer
Favorite Vacation Spot:
None
Favorite Quote:
None

Birthplace

Born:
3/5/1933
Birth Location:
Montgomery
See how Joe Dickson is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Joe Dickson was born on March 5, 1933, in Montgomery, Alabama, to Mary Rachael and Robert Dickson. Dickson was raised by his widowed mother and his aunt Gertrude; he attended a Catholic elementary school before the family moved to the projects in Birmingham in 1939. Dickson graduated from Fairfield Industrial High School in 1950, and worked as a welder until he entered the United States Army.

Dickson then enrolled in Miles College from which he received his B.A. degree in sociology. While at Miles College, Dickson was involved in the civil rights marches and selective buying campaigns; he was arrested along with Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth and other civil rights activists in front of the federal court house in Birmingham. In the 1960s, Dickson joined A.G. Gaston’s Washington Insurance Company as an insurance agent, working in six different counties. Dickson also worked with the Urban League and acted as the deputy director for an experimental demonstration project at Miles College that trained African Americans for jobs within the community.

In 1970, Dickson attended Howard University Law School from which he earned his J.D. degree in 1973. Dickson then returned to Alabama and formed his own real estate and construction company. Dickson was the President of the Alabama Republican Council for a number of years and was asked to work for the former governor of Alabama, Guy Hunt, as the Assistant of Minority Affairs in 1988. Dickson began working with the Birmingham World newspaper in 1987 and in 1989 returned to run the paper. Dickson married Dr. Charlie Mae Dickson; together they had eight adult children.

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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Joe Dickson's interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Joe Dickson lists his favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Joe Dickson describes his mother's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Joe Dickson remembers his maternal grandmother and great-grandmother
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Joe Dickson talks about his maternal uncles
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Joe Dickson describes his mother's occupation
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Joe Dickson describes his mother's education
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Joe Dickson remembers his homeschooling
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Joe Dickson recalls the Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama
  • Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Joe Dickson remembers his relatives' deaths from pneumonia
  • Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Joe Dickson describes his father's family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Joe Dickson talks about his father's work ethic
  • Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Joe Dickson remembers moving with his siblings to Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Joe Dickson recalls his attempt to run away from his aunt and uncle's home
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Joe Dickson remembers Robinson Elementary School in Fairfield, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Joe Dickson describes his experiences at Robinson Elementary School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Joe Dickson remembers his newspaper delivery route
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Joe Dickson describes his early personality
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Joe Dickson recalls Principal E.J. Oliver at Fairfield Industrial High School in Fairfield, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Joe Dickson describes his experiences at Fairfield Industrial High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Joe Dickson recalls learning African American history at Fairfield Industrial High School
  • Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Joe Dickson describes the community of Fairfield, Alabama
  • Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Joe Dickson recalls being drafted into the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Joe Dickson talks about claiming his mother as a dependent
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Joe Dickson remembers the racial tensions in the integrated U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Joe Dickson describes his training in the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Joe Dickson recalls qualifying for disability compensation from the U.S. Army
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Joe Dickson remembers seeing Adam Clayton Powell, Jr. in a parade
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Joe Dickson remembers his decision to attend Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Joe Dickson describes his experiences at Miles College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Joe Dickson remembers joining the Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Joe Dickson remembers his graduation from Miles College
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Joe Dickson describes the civil rights activities at Miles College, pt. 1
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Joe Dickson describes the civil rights activities at Miles College, pt. 2
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Joe Dickson recalls working at the Booker T. Washington Insurance Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Joe Dickson remembers working at H.C. Bowhang
  • Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Joe Dickson remembers his return to Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Joe Dickson talks about his first marriage
  • Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Joe Dickson recalls his difficulties at the Booker T. Washington Insurance Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Joe Dickson remembers working for the White Dairy Company
  • Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Joe Dickson recalls the selective buying campaign in Birmingham, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Joe Dickson remembers marching with Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth
  • Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Joe Dickson recalls his release from jail
  • Tape: 4 Story: 11 - Joe Dickson remembers his offer to work for Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
  • Tape: 4 Story: 12 - Joe Dickson remembers working for A.G. Gaston in Tuskegee, Alabama
  • Tape: 4 Story: 13 - Joe Dickson describes how he came to work for the Excel Superstores
  • Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Joe Dickson recalls the attacks on Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth
  • Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Joe Dickson remembers being accused of stealing
  • Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Joe Dickson remembers the job training program at Miles College in Fairfield, Alabama
  • Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Joe Dickson remembers working for the Urban League's Project Assist
  • Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Joe Dickson recalls working as an insurance salesman at Blue Cross Blue Shield
  • Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Joe Dickson remembers the Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C.
  • Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Joe Dickson describes his wife and children
  • Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Joe Dickson remembers a lesson from A.G. Gaston
  • Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Joe Dickson recalls the start of his real estate career
  • Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Joe Dickson talks about his real estate career with A.G. Gaston
  • Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Joe Dickson remembers working as the gubernatorial assistant for minority affairs
  • Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Joe Dickson remembers leaving the office of Alabama Governor H. Guy Hunt
  • Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Joe Dickson recalls his nomination to the State of Alabama's personnel board
  • Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Joe Dickson talks about his realty company
  • Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Joe Dickson remembers a lesson from his mother
  • Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Joe Dickson describes his plans for the Birmingham World newspaper
  • Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Joe Dickson recalls facing criticism as the owner of the Birmingham World
  • Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Joe Dickson reflects upon his life
  • Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Joe Dickson describes how he would like to be remembered
  • Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Joe Dickson shares a message to future generations
  • Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Joe Dickson reflects upon the racial history of the United States