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Valerie Richardson Jackson

Valerie Richardson Jackson, host of Atlanta, Georgia’s, public radio station WABE’s Between the Lines, a series of conversations with some of today’s brightest and most notable writers and thinkers, and former First Lady of Atlanta as wife of the first African American mayor of Atlanta, Maynard Holbrook Jackson, Jr, was born April 3, 1949 in Richmond, Virginia. Raised by parents Cora Ruth Feggins Richardson and Charles Hoover Richardson, Jackson integrated the high school she attended in Richmond and went on to major in business management at Virginia Commonwealth University. Jackson earned her M.B.A. degree from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania; after graduating in 1973, she worked as an advertising executive at Grey Advertising in New York City, and as Regional Marketing Supervisor for TWA’s corporate headquarters in New York.

Jackson met Maynard Jackson at a party hosted by Roberta Flack in 1976. In 1977, during Maynard Jackson’s second of three terms as Mayor of Atlanta, the couple was married; they had two children, Valerie-Amanda and Alexandra. During her twelve years as First Lady of Atlanta, Jackson served as Special Advisor to the Mayor’s Office of Economic Development, helping to bring the 1988 Democratic National Convention and the 1996 Olympic Games to Atlanta. Maynard Jackson’s last term in office ended in 1993, but both Jacksons remained active in civic life as Maynard Jackson was considering a bid for the U.S. Senate in 2002. Jackson husband died at age 65 of a heart attack on June 23, 2003, while on a business trip to Washington, D.C.

As host of Between the Lines, Valerie Richardson Jackson interviewed such notable individuals as Hillary Clinton, Sidney Poitier, former President Jimmy Carter, Cornell West, Ayanla Vanzant, and Deepak Chopra. Jackson served as chair of Jackmont Hospitality, Inc., and as president of Jackson Securities, Inc. In addition to her executive and radio activities, Jackson worked with civic boards and organizations as a motivational speaker, and volunteered on numerous civic boards and organizations, including the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation; Habitat for Humanity; Leadership Atlanta; the Northwest Georgia Girl Scout Council; and the Alliance for a New Humanity.

Accession Number

A2005.148

Sex

Female

Interview Date

6/23/2005

12/16/2012

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Marital Status

Widow

Middle Name

Richardson

Occupation
Schools

Henrico High

Virginia Commonwealth University

School of Medicine

Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

Woodville Elementary School

Whitcomb Court Elementary School

First Name

Valerie

Birth City, State, Country

Richmond

HM ID

RIC09

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Virginia

Favorite Vacation Destination

Buford, South Carolina

Favorite Quote

Do Second Level Thinking.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Interview Description
Birth Date

4/3/1949

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Atlanta

Country

USA

Favorite Food

Lobster

Short Description

Civic leader Valerie Richardson Jackson (1949 - ) was the widow of former Atlanta mayor Maynard Jackson, and the host of Between the Lines, a radio interview show on Atlanta, Georgia’s, public radio station WABE.

Employment

Grey Advertising Group

Trans World Airlines

City of Atlanta

Georgia Public Broadcasting

Public Broadcasting Atlanta

Jackmont Hospitality, Inc.

Jackson Securities

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Valerie Richardson Jackson's interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson lists her favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her experience integrating her high school

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her maternal family being light skinned

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls an interview with Patricia J. Williams

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her mother working at a white bank

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her parents' education

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her father's family history

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes how her parents met

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her parents' personalities

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls growing up with seven siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 13 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her earliest childhood memory

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls finding relics of the Confederacy

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes the sights, smells and sounds of growing up

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls music and church during her childhood

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls being molested as a young girl

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her childhood interests and activities

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her personality as a young girl

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her elementary school experience

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her aptitude for learning

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her experience in high school

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls integrating Richmond's Henrico High School

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls being hired as a telephone operator

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her prom at Henrico High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls winning the Miss Warrior Contest

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her experience in college

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Dr. Martin Luther King's assassination

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes being hired at Neighborhood Youth Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon the Neighborhood Youth Corps

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon her family's slogans

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her admission to the Wharton School

Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her experience at the Wharton School

Tape: 3 Story: 11 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her position at Grey Group in New York City

Tape: 3 Story: 12 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes how she met Maynard Jackson

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes meeting Maynard Jackson in 1976

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her courtship with Maynard Jackson

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her role as First Lady of Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Charles, Prince of Wales' visit to Atlanta

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her family's challenges during her husband's mayoralty

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her involvement in Atlanta's 1996 Summer Olympics

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her first impressions of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Slating of Valerie Richardson Jackson's interview, session 2

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her wedding to Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls the construction on Atlanta's international airport terminal

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Atlanta Mayor Maynard Jackson's popularity

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes Atlanta after Maynard Jackson became mayor

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Mayor Ivan Allen, Jr. of Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls the establishment of Turner Broadcasting

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Atlanta's bid for the 1996 Summer Olympics

Tape: 5 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her role as First Lady of Atlanta

Tape: 5 Story: 10 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls the Atlanta Child Murders

Tape: 5 Story: 11 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Atlanta's airport construction

Tape: 6 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes Maynard Jackson's salesmanship

Tape: 6 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon the preservation of The King Center

Tape: 6 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls HistoryMaker Andrew Young as mayor of Atlanta

Tape: 6 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Maynard Jackson's run for a second mayoral term

Tape: 6 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon Maynard Jackson's legacy

Tape: 6 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon minorities being scared of using their power

Tape: 6 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon Maynard Jackson's third mayoral term

Tape: 6 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon her time as first lady of Atlanta

Tape: 6 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes Atlanta as the "cradle of civil rights"

Tape: 7 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Mayor Maynard Jackson's heart surgery

Tape: 7 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta

Tape: 7 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her career in television broadcasting

Tape: 7 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her career in radio broadcasting

Tape: 7 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her radio show, 'Between the Lines'

Tape: 7 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her commitment to leadership training

Tape: 7 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes choosing guests for 'Between the Lines'

Tape: 7 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her volunteer activities

Tape: 8 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes Jackmont Hospitality, Inc.

Tape: 8 Story: 2 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls Maynard Jackson's bid for the U.S. Senate

Tape: 8 Story: 3 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her husband, Maynard Jackson

Tape: 8 Story: 4 - Valerie Richardson Jackson talks about her family

Tape: 8 Story: 5 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her hopes and concerns for the African American community

Tape: 8 Story: 6 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes her hopes for Atlanta, Georgia

Tape: 8 Story: 7 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon President Barack Obama's election

Tape: 8 Story: 8 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon her life

Tape: 8 Story: 9 - Valerie Richardson Jackson reflects upon her legacy

Tape: 8 Story: 10 - Valerie Richardson Jackson recalls her parents and siblings

Tape: 8 Story: 11 - Valerie Richardson Jackson describes how she would like to be remembered

Tape: 9 Story: 1 - Valerie Richardson Jackson narrates her photographs

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$4

DAStory

12$8

DATitle
Valerie Richardson Jackson describes how she met Maynard Jackson
Valerie Richardson Jackson describes the Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, pt. 2
Transcript
(Simultaneous) Yeah, so how did you meet him [Maynard Jackson]? Yeah.$$I met Maynard at Roberta Flack's house in New York City [New York, New York]. Roberta was a mutual friend of ours. A great friend that worked with me in, in the advertising area, he and I were both friends of Roberta, and he called me one day and said, "Hey look, Valerie [HistoryMaker Valerie Richardson Jackson], Roberta's having a brunch for Maynard Jackson and we think you should come." You know, "Why don't you come and meet him." And so I'm like, you know, I knew who Maynard Jackson was, of course, but I was like, "Oh, you know--." He says, "Oh come on, Valerie, come and meet him." I said, "Well, I don't know, I've got to do this, I've got to do that." He says, "Look, I want you to meet Maynard Jackson." He said, "He's the kind of man you need, and you're the kind of woman he needs." And I said, "What are you talking about?" I said, "What are you talking about?" He said, "Well these guys that you're running around with aren't worth your time." And he said, "You're the kind of woman that Maynard Jackson needs." And I said, "Well, what are you talking about? Isn't he married?" And he says, "Oh, no, not anymore." I said, "What?" And he said, "Oh come on Valerie." He said, "[HistoryMaker] Quincy Jones will be there." I said, "Okay," (laughter). So, to this day, Quincy Jones laughs and jokes with us and says, "Well Maynard, if I hadn't been there, she wouldn't even have come to meet you," you know. But I did come and I did meet him and we did hit it off; and I think he was very impressed to meet, you know, a Wharton woman, you know, a black Wharton woman, right. And, of course, I was very impressed with him. And it was almost as if things were in divine order because when I was at Wharton [Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania] working on my M.B.A., Maynard was elected for the first time as mayor [of Atlanta, Georgia]--in 1972 he was elected mayor for the first time. So Ebony magazine had done this four or five page spread on Maynard Jackson, "Brilliant young attorney, youngest mayor of any major American city," you know, yada yada yada. So I'm reading the paper, I mean the magazine article, and I'm about halfway through it and I just stop and I l- just look up and I say to myself, "Now that's the kind of man I want to marry." I said, "I want to marry a Maynard Jackson."$We [Maynard Jackson Youth Foundation, Atlanta, Georgia] talk to them [students] about public speaking, about public demeanor, about public manners, about things like not chewing gum in public. We have etiquette classes where we'll bring them in and sit them in front of a full table set with six pieces of silverware and all the different glasses and so forth. Teach them how to use the silverware and then we always take them to lunch. We could take them to Paschal's [Paschal's Restaurant, Atlanta, Georgia]. We can take them to The Varsity [Atlanta, Georgia] or we can take them to a five-star hotel and see what they've learned about their etiquette and if they pull out the chair for the ladies, and so forth and open the doors, because we still teach all that. All of that old fashioned stuff, we think, is still crucial to the success of a person and it's the nuances that really make the difference. Chris Tucker came to the house for a surprise, for them, for the Christmas party, the comedian, Chris Tucker of 'Rush Hour' fame. He's a friend of ours and so I asked him to come by and say a few words to the kids. Well, the week before I had talked to the kids about chewing gum and how one should not chew in public and that the origin of chewing gum is really from the indigenous people who would pull gum from a tree, put it in their mouth and chew it to clean their teeth and then discard it. And so I said to them, you wouldn't brush your teeth in public, so why chew chewing gum if you're sitting on a dais or if you're speaking in public or, I said it's okay if you're doing sports and that kind of thing but if you're in a, you know, a public setting, then you really, you know, should not chew chewing gum, at least not where people can tell that you're chewing chewing gum. Okay, so, Chris Tucker comes over and Chris Tucker's chewing chewing gum. I mean, Chris is really chewing his chewing gum, right. At least five kids came up to me and said, "Ms. Jackson [HistoryMaker Valerie Richardson Jackson], you need to talk to Chris Tucker about his chewing gum." So I know they're listening, thank God, right, and that's what it's all about. I used to wonder, for ten years, how does Maynard [Maynard Jackson] get up every Saturday, every other Saturday and go down there after working all week and doing everything, how does he do it? And then when I started doing it, I found out, it's because of the children. They give us the energy. They give us the spirit. They give us the motivation to keep coming, to keep sharing with them because they really are the future. They really are the future.