Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 16, Number 01, Spring, 2004 Page: 8
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African Americans in Dallas had lacked political
clout and had been exploited by white politicians.
But with the proper organization, they
could form a "bloc of Christian voters," able to
influence elections. The next year he helped
organize the Progressive Voters League and
served as its first president. So successful were the
League's efforts that it was able to influence the
municipal elections in 1937 and win several
concessions from the new city council, most
notably the construction of a second high school
serving black students.3
In 1938 Reverend Jackson helped organize
a statewide Progressive Voters League, based on
the Dallas model, and served as its first president.
In 1944 he was elected first president of
the National Progressive Voters League, which
he again helped to organize.4 That year he also
became the first African American to run for
election to the Dallas School Board. His son
Maynard H. Jackson, Jr., later recalled that his
father "faced massive opposition" in the race
and even received death threats if he went on
the radio.5 Although he was defeated, his candidacy
was a landmark in the struggle of blacks
for equal participation in the political process in
The Reverend Jackson left Dallas in 1945 to
become minister of the historic Friendship
Baptist Church of Atlanta. Not surprisingly, he
soon founded the Georgia Voters League. He
died in 1953.
A year before taking up the pulpit at New
Hope in Dallas, Maynard H.Jackson, Sr., married
Irene Dobbs in Toulouse, France. Daughter of a
prominent Atlanta family, Miss Dobbs graduated
from Spelman College as valedictorian of her
class and then pursued graduate studies in
French at Middlebury College, the University of
Chicago, the University of Grenoble, and the
University ofToulouse.6 The couple had six children:
Sandra, Jeanne, Maynard, Jr., Carol Ann,
Connie, and Paul. Maynard H. Jackson, Jr., who
died in 2003, rose to political prominence as
Mayor of Atlanta, Georgia.
As part of planning for the Old Red
Museum of Dallas County History & Culture,
the museum staff contacted the Jackson family
requesting the loan of artifacts or photographs of
Reverend Jackson. His daughter Carol Ann
Miller responded with pages from the family
photograph album containing images of
Reverend and Mrs.Jackson and their older children
when they lived in Dallas. On the following
pages, Legacies is pleased to publish for the
first time several of these photos, offering a
glimpse into the family life of one of the city's
most significant civil rights pioneers. *
'Peter W. Agnew, "Making Dallas Moral: Two Baptist
Preachers," Heritage Nciws 12, no. 2 (Summer 1987): 19-25.
Dallas Express, May 5, 1945. He also received a Doctor
of Divinity degree from Morehouse College in 1944; ibid.
3Marvin Dulaney,"The Progressive Voters League,"
Legacies 3, no. 1 (Spring 1991): 27-35.
4 Dallas Times Herald, May 25, 1944.
' Lana Henderson, "Maynard Jackson: Dallas son
rising?" Ibid., March 24, 1974.
' "Pronminent Couple To Wed in France," undated and
unidentified newspaper clipping,Jackson family album.
See also Ernest Dunbar, "Seven Dobbs Against the Odds:
The Story of a Remarkable Black Family," Look, 33
(December 2, 1969): 24, 27-28.
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Dallas Historical Society. Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, Volume 16, Number 01, Spring, 2004, periodical, 2004; (texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth35092/m1/10/: accessed December 16, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Historical Society.