Alphonse J. Jackson
|Alphonse J. Jackson, Jr.|
Undated Jackson photo
|Louisiana State Representative
from District 2 (Caddo Parish)
|Preceded by||Don W. Williamson|
November 27, 1927|
Shreveport, Caddo Parish
|Died||December 23, 2014
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
|Resting place||Southern Memorial Gardens in Baton Rouge|
(1) Rubye H. Jackson (divorced)
From first marriage:
Andrea M. Archie
|Parents||Alphonse J., Sr., and Mattie P. Beaner Jackson|
|Residence||Baton Rouge, Louisiana|
|Alma mater||New York University|
|Service/branch||United States Army|
|Battles/wars||Cleanup of Hiroshima and Nagasaki (1946)|
Alphonse J. Jackson, Jr. (November 27, 1927 – December 23, 2014), was an educator and civil rights activist who served in the Louisiana House of Representatives for District 2 in his native Caddo Parish in northwestern Louisiana. He was a charter member of the Louisiana Legislative Black Caucus, which was established in 1977.
Born in Shreveport, young Jackson labored during summers picking cotton and baling hay on the farm of his maternal grandfather, Sam Beaner. He also worked at the family-owned Beaner's Grocery and the Phillips 66 service station on Line Avenue, operated by his father, Alphonse Jackson, Sr. (1907-1983). Upon his graduation from the historically black Central High School in Shreveport, he entered Southern University in Baton Rouge, another historically black institution, at which he was initiated into Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Drafted into the United States Army, he was among the military personnel deployed to Hiroshima and Nagasaki to engage in cleanup from the atomic bombs dropped in 1945. After his military service, Jackson returned to Southern University to obtain in 1951 his Bachelor of Arts in social studies. Thereafter, he attended New York University, from which he acquired in 1961 a Master of Arts degree in secondary education administration.
Jackson began teaching in the early 1950s in the Caddo Parish schools and was soon named a principal, first at his alma mater, Central High School, and then at predominantly white Judson Elementary School. In 1960, Jackson was recognized as the Caddo Parish "Educator of the Year". In 1962, the Louisiana Education Association cited him for citizenship and civil rights leadership. He was active in the statewide teachers' organization and worked to merge the Louisiana Education Association with the former white Louisiana Teachers Association. He was a field representative for the National Education Association.
Jackson was appointed to the ten-member Biracial Committee to Desegregate Schools in Caddo Parish and was one of three who met with U.S. President Richard M. Nixon to determine ways to integrate Louisiana schools. Prior to and during his legislative service, Jackson worked in consort with black dentist Louis Pendleton and white school board leader Don W. Williamson of Shreveport to finalize desegregation plans.
In 1972, as a freshman legislator, Jackson was elected as a delegate to the Louisiana Constitutional Convention of 1973. He was the chairman of the Committee on Bill of Rights and Elections. In 1973, Jackson was named Shreveport's "Man of the Year". Jackson worked with the Louisiana Education Association to investigate complaints filed by parents, teachers, and school personnel regarding violations of civil rights. For several years he directed legal defense efforts for professional educators in Louisiana and coordinated the Head Start program. He was a long-term member of the NAACP.
In 1979, Jackson worked for the election of his fellow Democrat Louis Lambert, a Louisiana Public Service Commissioner from Baton Rouge, as governor in the general election against Republican David C. Treen. When Treen spoke before the legislature for the first time in April 1980, Representative Jackson was critical of what he called remarks "so vague and brief that he left me with far more questions than he answered."
As a legislator, the Jackson opposed the Louisiana Balanced Treatment Act regarding the teaching of creation science and evolution in Louisiana public schools. The law was written by a Shreveport colleague, State Senator Bill P. Keith, also a Democrat. It was struck down in 1987 by the United States Supreme Court in the decision Edwards v. Aguillard.
After he left the legislature, Jackson became the president of a public relations firm, Jackson, Nicholson and Associates, through which he coordinated political campaigns and planned marketing programs.
Jackson's second wife, the former Glenda Hurst, is the daughter of Norbert Hurst of New Roads who was formerly married to the late James R. Archie, I. The couple married in 1993 and resided in Baton Rouge, where Jackson died in a hospice at the age of eighty-seven two days before Christmas 2014. There are two Jackson daughters from his first marriage to Rubye H. Jackson of Shreveport, Lydia Patrice Jackson and Angela Eileen Jackson. He acquired a stepdaughter, Andrea A. Archie of Atlanta, Georgia, from the second marriage.
Lydia Jackson formerly represented District 39 in Caddo Parish in the Louisiana State Senate from 2004 to 2012, when she was unseated by her predecessor in the office, fellow African-American Democrat Gregory Tarver, a Shreveport businessman. Tarver had defeated Bill Keith for the same seat in 1983, when African Americans became the majority of voters in the district. In the elections of 2011, Tarver returned to reclaim the seat from Lydia Jackson.
When he lived in Shreveport, Jackson was affiliated with the Zion Baptist Church. After services on December 27, 2014 at Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church in Baton Rouge, Jackson was interred at Southern Memorial Gardens at 301 Blount Road in Baton Rouge.
Alphonse Jackson, Jr., is the eponym of the Alphonse Jackson Early Childhood Center in Shreveport.The Shreveport Times in 2000 named Jackson as one of the one hundred most influential people of northwest Louisiana.
|Louisiana State Representative from District 2 (Caddo Parish)
Alphonse J. Jackson, Jr.