Brief Biography Of The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) Founder – Emory Overton Jackson

Emory Overton Jackson was born on the 8th of September 1908, in Buena Vista, Georgia, to a bricklayer, Will Burt Jackson, and Lovie Jones Jackson. He had seven siblings.

At eleven years, Emory Jackson relocated to Birmingham enclave of Enon Ridge, west of Birmingham South College. He attended and graduated from the first public high school for negroes in the city, Industrial High School, which was later renamed to Parker High.

After his graduation, Emory Jackson got admitted to Atlanta’s Morehouse College in 1928. While at the college, he became the president of the student government and worked as an editor for the Maroon newspaper.

After graduating from the school with a bachelor’s degree in 1932, he moved to Dothan, Alabama, where he began as a teacher, teaching English and also served as a basketball coach at Carver High School in Dothan before returning to Birmingham to take on his previous courses at Westfield High School. He was also the school newspaper supervisor.

Jackson lost his job after protesting disparities he experienced at the school district banquet in 1934. Not long after losing his career, the Atlanta-based Scott family hired Emory Jackson to write about sports, and review books for the Birmingham World, established in 1931 –

The newspaper published abandoned news, black achievements, they print protest letters addressing issues like discrimination and segregation.

He spent two years writing ‘The Tip-Off’ – a syndicated news category in which he promotes civil rights and social justice.

In 1941, seven years of Jackson working with the World, he was made the managing editor writing semi-weekly World.


Brief Biography Of Founder National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) - Emory Overton Jackson
Jackson delivering speech – image credit:

He wrote a protest of the Freedom Train (1947) in which he got lots of praises and admirations both from readers and other black newspapers.

He wrote to the local officials, American Heritage Foundation in New York, protesting plans to enforce separate lines for the blacks and whites.

Emory Jackson founded the Alabama State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and became its first president.

He fought hard for voters’ rights and registration of votes for the blacks. To him, denying the Blacks the right to vote nor participate in political affairs.

Emory Jackson spent time writing. He covered the landmark Brown V. Board of Education decision, the killing Emmett Till in Money, Freedom Rides, and Mississippi.

After serving in the army during the World War, Jackson went back to Birmingham’s NAACP chapter. He pushed for black returning veterans to access their benefits from the GI Bill of Rights. He made them register to a vote.

In 1946, NAACP, headed by Emory Jackson, protested Birmingham’s municipal zonal laws that relegated African Americans to the ghetto.

NAACP attorney Arthur Shores filed suit in the US. District Court, and a judge, Clarence Mullin by name, ruled district ordinance unconstitutional. With that, the blacks were free to buy properties in the border areas.

After getting the right to buy homes from the border area, the Klu Klux Klan (KKK) attacked razed Black homes and businesses.

In May 1956, attorney general John Patterson defeated NAACP in the court. The NAACP was accused of illegal Montgomery Bus boycott and financing Autherine Lucy’s attempt to combine the University of Alabama.

He worked with the World newspaper till his death in 1975.

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