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Christina Jackson Interview

View at Kansas Memory

Creator: Jackson, Christina

Date: September 20, 1991

Level of Description: Item

Material Type: Audiotape, Voice

Call Number: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Oral History Coll. 251, Reference Copies, Box 2, Folder 1

Unit ID: 211835

Restrictions: This interview has a signed release for scholarly or educational purposes only.

Space Required/Quantity: Two compact audio cassettes.

Title (Main title): Christina Jackson Interview

Part of: Brown v. Topeka Board of Education Oral History Collection at the Kansas State Historical Society.


Biog. Sketch (Full): Christina Jackson

Christina Jackson was born on August 15, 1926, in Topeka, Kansas. Her parents were Georgia and Jess Edwards. She only attended school through the eleventh grade, having dropped out to get married, but received various kinds of training through her positions as a volunteer coordinator and a receptionist for the Kansas Department of Motor Vehicles. Over the years she has been involved in numerous community activities and programs. She and her husband, Enoch, have eight children.

Mrs. Jackson attended Washington Grade School, East Topeka Junior High, and Topeka High School. The thing that stands out the most in her mind about Washington was the music; every morning, at a certain time, principal Ridley would lead the whole school in singing "Lift Every Voice and Sing.” The school also had a Health Room where some students were served breakfast. Ms. Jackson also recalls the fact that the teachers there were very strict; students did not get away with talking back to the teachers. Even her children, who attended Monroe School and were then transferred to State Street School, recalled being surprised by students being allowed to talk back to the teachers. She also remembers the stressing of African American history at Washington, and the other African American schools, by Mr. Ridley.

The Brown case impacted Mrs. Jackson’s children. They started out attending Monroe School, but after the case, they were transferred to State Street School. She recalls that the faculty at the school really tried to integrate the students; they were generally accepted, and the students were told how to behave towards one another. Not having to bundle up her kids and walk them down to the bus in the freezing cold was the best thing that resulted from the case as far as she was concerned; the white schools were not. Children felt that they were treated better at State Street than they were later on at Holliday Junior High. This was not necessarily better to her, but it was closer to where she lived. She partly attributed this to the fact that the kids at State Street knew her children from the neighborhood. It was at Holliday that Mrs. Jackson’s children ran into problems with instances of name-calling and such.

Scope and Content

Scope and content: Index
Christina Jackson

Page: Topics
01: BG, BP, DOB, Mother: Georgia Edwards, Father: Jess Edwards,

02: Husband: Enoch Jackson, Children: Jennifer, Richard, Gary, Enoch, Theada, Craig, Arthelee, Jesse, Educational experiences

03: Paraprofessional work experiences, Kansas Motor Vehicle Department, AME, Eastern Star, Women’s Political Caucus, PTA, Cub Scouts, Girl Scouts, Volunteer Action Center, Ramona Hood Award, Community Resource Council,

04: Eastern Star, Important Life Events, Life in Topeka in late 1940s, early 1950s, Neighborhood, East Topeka

05: Washington, skating rink, bus and walking, Depression,

06: Father worked at Santa Fe, raising chickens, picking greens, Washington school, music, Mr. Ridley (principal), Health Room

07: Washington, black teachers, Monroe, black and white teachers, Mrs. O’Dell, Miss Jones, Miss Hicks, Miss Bradshaw, Miss Benton, Topeka High

08: Field day, Chandler field, interaction of teachers between schools, Washington School, Mr. Ridley, black history, Marcus Garvey, Washington school film, Back Home Topeka, Henry Burton

09: Monroe School, Brown case meetings, Oliver Brown, Jennifer, Gary and Richard, State Street School, Children’s transition from Monroe to State Street, Mr. Barkley

10: Children’s experiences at State Street, Holiday, Oakland, Racial slurs

11: Racial Slurs, Gage Park pool, Ridley Park, Topeka High, guidance counseling, Gary, Richard, Jennifer

12: Jennifer, Junior, Meetings after Brown, Richard Jones, Oliver Brown, Gary, Kansas University

13: Gary – fired, Arthur Lee, special education, church

14: Social events at Ridley Park, East Topeka, experiences with integration

15: Topeka High School boycott, furnishing of textbooks, State Street school integration, teachers at State Street

16: State Street teachers, feelings about being black, friendships with whites

17: Gary at Kansas University


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Restrictions: This interview has a signed release for scholarly or educational purposes only.