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Prince Jackson, Jr.

Prince Albert Jackson, Jr., was born on March 17, 1925, in Savannah, Georgia, to Julia and Prince Albert, Sr. Jackson graduated with honors from Beach-Cuyler High School in 1942 and joined the United States Naval Reserve. Jackson received his B.A. degree in mathematics from Savannah State University in 1949, and his M.A. degree from Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences from the New York University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences in 1950. Jackson later received his Ph.D. in philosophy with distinction from Boston College. While studying at Boston College, Jackson was named one of the school’s first six Distinguished Alumni.

In 1971, Jackson became the seventh President of Savannah State College. During his tenure as president, Jackson established the third Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp (NROTC) at a university; he also established the University’s radio station, WHCJ-FM, which was the fifth station established on an African American college campus. The observation of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day was the result of Jackson’s initiative along with the increase in faculty and teachers holding doctorates. In 1978, Jackson stepped down as President of Savannah State University, but continued to serve as a member of the faculty until 1999 when he retired.

Jackson was the recipient of thirty-five academic awards and honors, and a member of twenty-nine professional and scholastic organizations. Jackson was also a lifetime member of the NAACP, where he served as President of the Savannah branch in 2003. Jackson authored over fourteen research and scholarly articles. After retiring in 1999, Jackson continued his active involvement in various community projects including being an advocate for the mentally challenged and the NAACP Voter Empowerment Project.

Jackson was married to the former Marilyn Striggles of Sylvania, Georgia; the couple had five children.

Accession Number

A2007.028

Sex

Male

Interview Date

1/24/2007

Last Name

Jackson

Maker Category
Middle Name

Albert

Occupation
Schools

Alfred E. Beach High School

Savannah State University

Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences

Boston College

St. Benedict the Moor Catholic School

First Name

Prince

Birth City, State, Country

Savannah

HM ID

JAC22

Favorite Season

Spring

State

Georgia

Favorite Vacation Destination

None

Favorite Quote

If You Want Your Prayers Answered, Get Up Off Your Knees And Hustle.

Bio Photo
Speakers Bureau Region State

Georgia

Birth Date

3/17/1925

Birth Place Term
Speakers Bureau Region City

Savannah

Country

United States

Favorite Food

Beans (Lima)

Death Date

9/21/2010

Short Description

College president Prince Jackson, Jr. (1925 - 2010 ) was the seventh president of Savannah State College.

Employment

Savannah State College

Favorite Color

Green

Timing Pairs
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DAStories

Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Prince Jackson, Jr.'s interview

Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Prince Jackson, Jr. lists his favorites

Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes his father's background

Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes his mother's family background

Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Prince Jackson, Sr. lists his siblings

Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes his earliest childhood memory

Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls his upbringing in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes the sights, sounds and smells of his childhood

Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls St. Patrick's Day celebrations in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 10 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes his childhood community in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 11 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls his Catholic schooling in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 1 Story: 12 - Prince Jackson, Jr. remembers St. Benedict the Moor Catholic School

Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls graduating from Beach-Cuyler High School in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls his experience in the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls when his mother saved the money he earned from the U.S. Navy

Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls his U.S. Navy training

Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls graduating from Savannah's Georgia State College

Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes his education at Georgia State College in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 2 Story: 7 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls being hired to teach at Georgia State College

Tape: 2 Story: 8 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls his activities at Georgia State College

Tape: 2 Story: 9 - Prince Jackson, Jr. remembers the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences in New York City

Tape: 2 Story: 10 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes his early teaching career

Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls being fired due to his NAACP involvement

Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls serving as the athletic director of Savannah's St. Pius X High School

Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls applying to Boston College's Ph.D. degree program

Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes his decision to return to Savannah State College's faculty

Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls the impact of the Civil Rights Movement on Savannah State College

Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Prince Jackson, Jr. talks about his family members

Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls hiring faculty at Savannah State College

Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls founding Savannah State College's WHCJ Radio

Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls establishing a Naval Reserve Officers' Training Corps program

Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls the desegregation of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, pt. 1

Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls the desegregation of Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools, pt. 2

Tape: 4 Story: 3 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes the impact of integration on Savannah State College

Tape: 4 Story: 4 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls the construction of the Asa H. Gordon Library

Tape: 4 Story: 5 - Prince Jackson, Jr. remembers his NAACP involvement in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 4 Story: 6 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls his work with Shirley James at Savannah State College

Tape: 4 Story: 7 - Prince Jackson, Jr. remembers Professor Hanes Walton, Jr.

Tape: 4 Story: 8 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls how he allocated funds at Savannah State College

Tape: 4 Story: 9 - Prince Jackson, Jr. remembers returning to the faculty of Savannah State College

Tape: 4 Story: 10 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes his organizational activities in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 1 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes his involvement in the Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah

Tape: 5 Story: 2 - Prince Jackson, Jr. talks about his children and grandchildren

Tape: 5 Story: 3 - Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls integrating the Knights of Columbus in Savannah, Georgia

Tape: 5 Story: 4 - Prince Jackson, Jr. talks about the African American Catholic leadership

Tape: 5 Story: 5 - Prince Jackson, Jr. reflects upon his life

Tape: 5 Story: 6 - Prince Jackson, Jr. talks about destinations he plans to visit

Tape: 5 Story: 7 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes his hopes for African American youth

Tape: 5 Story: 8 - Prince Jackson, Jr. describes how he would like to be remembered

DASession

1$1

DATape

3$3

DAStory

1$8

DATitle
Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls being fired due to his NAACP involvement
Prince Jackson, Jr. recalls founding Savannah State College's WHCJ Radio
Transcript
All right, so we were talking about the fact that you, because of your NAACP [National Association for the Advancement of Colored People] activities, you were fired from William James High School [William James Middle School, Statesboro, Georgia].$$Yes, uh-huh.$$Okay, and you called--$$President Payne [William K. Payne].$$--President Payne.$$Yeah, uh-huh.$$Okay, so, so tell me what happens?$$Yeah, I'll tell you. Just let me step back a minute and tell you--$$Okay.$$--why I was fired.$$Okay.$$I invited Ralph Mark Gilbert. There, there's a museum down the street that's named for him, Ralph Mark Gilbert Civil Rights Museum [Savannah, Georgia], right down the street there that's named for him.$$Ralph Mar-?$$Ralph Mark Gilbert.$$Okay.$$He was probably the greatest NAACP worker in Georgia. And had invited him up to speak to my class. I was senior class advisor. And he told me ahead of time, he said you, you know, the way I speak, you might get into trouble. I told well, then let it be, so be it (laughter). And he came up, and he talked about the [U.S.] Supreme Court decision [Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, 1954] and for African American families to start getting ready because their children were going to go to those white schools, and he pa- particularly said Statesboro High School [Statesboro, Georgia] and all that. Well, the superintendent was also at that commencement. And I could look at him and tell that he didn't appreciate what Ralph Mark Gilbert was saying. And he thanked me as one of the NAACP workers and that sort of thing that I had invited him, him up there, and so they fired me. It was just--it, it, it wasn't no big deal. As a matter of fact, Denise [Denise Gines], the letter that the superintendent used to fire me, I used it several times when I was president at Savannah State College [Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia] 'cause it was just so smooth. I had just never seen a letter written quite that (laughter), quite that way. They'd simply reorganized the school, and they organized me out of position. So, after I got fired, I, I called and, and, and put in my application to President Payne. And I, I told him that, that, you know, that I'd left Statesboro [Georgia] under mysterious conditions. I was fired. It's the way he knew it. He said, "Well, Mr. Jackson [HistoryMaker Prince Jackson, Jr.]," said, "I know," said, "this news gets out," and said, "Well, I'm, I'm proud of you." And I'd, I'd been in his office all that morning talking to him. And about one o'clock that day when I got home, C.V. Troup, Cornelius V. Troup, who was president of Fort Valley State College [Fort Valley State University, Fort Valley, Georgia], had also learned that I had been fired, and he called me at home. And see, he wanted me to come to Fort Valley State to join his, his mathematics department too, but I'd already committed to Savannah State. So that's how I ended up at Savannah State rather than at Fort Valley State. And I became an instructor of mathematics and alumni secretary at Savannah State when that happened.$And then I found out that Clark College [Clark Atlanta University] in Atlanta [Georgia] beca- Clark College in Atlanta was setting up a, a radio station on their campus. Then I did some research, and I found out that Clark College was, had been only the fourth African American school [HBCU] that had its own radio station. And so I came back, and I talked to the chancellor about setting up our radio station. And he said, "Well, you don't have the money, and we can't give you the money for that." He said, "You can set it up, if you can find the money." Well, providence is a funny thing. I was on a program at B.C. [Benedictine Military School, Savannah, Georgia] to receive, they call it the Benedictine Gold Medal of Excellence. The bishop was going to receive--one of the bishop of Diocese of Savannah [Roman Catholic Diocese of Savannah] was also receiving one. And then there was another white gentleman who owned Savannah Marina [Thunderbolt Marina Inc., Savannah, Georgia], whose name was William Honey [William E. Honey]. He was also receiving--there were three of us who were gonna receive the Benedictine Gold Medal of Excellence. I sat next to him, Denise [Denise Gines], and you're gonna laugh when I tell you this. I found out he was a Lutheran. And I said to myself, now when a Catholic school is giving a Lutheran the highest honor, there can only be one reason for it. He must have given them a whole lot of money or had done something good for them 'cause, you know, Martin Luther was the thing that, that split us.$$Right.$$And so I talked to him, and I told him about this radio station that I wanted and all, and I just couldn't get the money, and that I was trying to get the money. He didn't say a word, he didn't, he didn't, he didn't. He just told me, he wished me luck and that sort of thing. This was on a Saturday night. And so the three of us, the bishop of the Diocese of Savannah, myself, and Mr. Hon- Honey, we all got Medal of Excellence. And we went to the receptions, and people pat us on the back and all of that. Well, when I went to my office on that Monday, about 10:30 that morning, somebody told me that somebody was riding up in front of the building in a raggedy 1967 Lincoln Continental. And they were getting ready to give him a ticket 'cause he was in a yellow line area. And I went down there, and I saw it was Mr. Honey. And I told the chief, my chief of police, if he put a ticket on that car, I would fire him on the spot (laughter). Well, I rushed back to my office 'cause I didn't want Mr. Honey to see me. Mr. Honey came in, and he gave my secretary an envelope. He said, "Give this to Dr. Jackson [HistoryMaker Prince Jackson, Jr.]," and he left out. He didn't wait. He say, "Give this to Dr. Jackson for me," and he left out. And so she brought the envelope into me, and I opened the envelope, and it was $10,000. It was--I told him I was gonna need about $10,000 startup money. That man had written over the weekend a check for $10,000. He brought it to me. He--when I got to the front to thank him, he had already gone off in that raggedy 1967 (laughter) Lincoln, this man with all this money. Then later on, he (unclear) came back when I did finally get him to come back. He came back to me and offered to build--we had a creek behind the college [Savannah State College; Savannah State University, Savannah, Georgia]. He wanted to build a dock. He wanted to--he was gonna chain his dredges in there to dredge out the, the creek and all that so that we could start a marine biology program and all that. But, so I built that radio station. At first I had called--asked for the call letters WSSC, but that was already taken. And then I said I have to honor this man somewhere. They didn't--at that time the State of Georgia would not let you name anything for anybody living. So I went to the telephone book, and I looked at the telephone book, and I found all the last names in there that had the most. And it was WHC and J, and so I named our radio station WHCJ [WHCJ Radio, Savannah, Georgia] but mostly the H because of Honey. I had to get him in there somewhere. And the reason why it's named WHCJ because those call letters had the most entry in the Savannah [Georgia] phone directory. And so we named it WHCJ, and so we became the fifth radio station on an African American campus.