Jennie Jackson DeHart, from a 1911 publication.
|Died||May 4, 1910 (aged 57–58)|
|Other names||Jennie Jackson DeHart (after marriage)|
|Known for||original member of the Fisk Jubilee Singers|
Jennie Jackson (1852 – May 4, 1910) was an American singer and voice teacher. She was one of the original members of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, an African-American a cappella ensemble. She toured with the group from 1871 to 1877. In 1891 she formed her own sextet, the Jennie Jackson Concert Company.
Jennie Jackson was born in Kingston, Tennessee. Her grandfather was enslaved in the household of Andrew Jackson. Her parents were also enslaved, but she was raised in freedom from an early age, after her mother, a laundress, was freed. They lived in Nashville, Tennessee, during, and after the American Civil War. Jackson enrolled at Fisk Free Colored School as one of its first students after it opened in 1866. She joined the Jubilee Singers when they formed in 1871.
Jackson toured with the Fisk Jubilee Singers from 1871 to 1877, including concerts in Great Britain and Europe. They sang spirituals and other music in a cappella arrangements. Their tours raised funds for the Fisk University campus. Their audiences included Henry Ward Beecher, William Lloyd Garrison, Queen Victoria, Mark Twain, and Ulysses S. Grant. She left the group in 1877 when she fell ill with colitis. She was at the center of a large 1873 painting of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, by Edmund Havel, commissioned by Queen Victoria to commemorate their performance for her.
Jackson later sang with a reorganized version of the group and with fellow Fisk Jubilee Singer Maggie Porter Cole's group. In 1891 she formed her own sextet, the Jennie Jackson Concert Company. She also taught voice.
Jackson married Rev. Andrew J. DeHart in 1884, and lived in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. She was widowed in 1909, and she died at home in 1910, aged 58 years, in Cincinnati. In 1978, Jackson and the other original members of the Fisk Jubilee Singers were granted posthumous honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Fisk University.
- Gustavus D. Pike, Jubilee Singers and their Campaign for Twenty Thousand Dollars (Hodder and Stoughton 1873): 61.
- Booker T. Washington, The Story of the Negro: The Rise of the Race from Slavery, Volume 2 (Doubleday, Page & Company 1909): 269.
- A. E. W., "Looking Backward" in Monroe Alphus Majors, Noted Negro Women: Their Triumphs and Activities (Donohue and Henneberry 1893): 134–138.
- Sandra Jean Graham, "How African-American Spirituals Moved from Cotton Fields to Concert Halls" Zocalo Public Square (October 29, 2018).
- "Singers Rescued School with Voices" The Daily Oklahoman (December 15, 1995): 171. via Newspapers.com
- Mary E. Nalle, "The Preservation of the American Negro Folk Song" Social Service Review (August 1916): 13, p. lxxii.
- Gabriel Mllner, "The Tenor of Belonging: The Fisk Jubilee Singers and the Popular Culture of Postbellum Citizenship" Journal of the Gilded Age and Progressive Era 15(4)(2016): 399.
- "Tennessee's Jubilee Singers Sang to Save Fisk University" Wilson Daily Times (October 27, 1995): 11A. via Newspaperarchive.com
- Sandra Graham, "On the Road to Freedom: The Contracts of the Fisk Jubilee Singers" American Music 24(1)(Spring 2006): 1–29.
- Katie J. Graber, "'A Strange, Weird Effect': The Fisk Jubilee Singers in the United States and England" American Music Research Center Journal (2013): 27–52.
- Edmund Havel, "Fisk Jubilee Singers, 1873" Fisk University Library, Special Collections.
- J. B. T. Marsh, The Story of the Jubilee Singers: With Their Songs (Houghton Mifflin 1881): 116.
- "The Beginning of Jubilee Singing" The Lyceum Magazine (April 1920): 1819.
- Lynn Abbott, Doug Seroff, Out of Sight: The Rise of African American Popular Music, 1889-1895 (University Press of Mississippi 2002): 89, 190. ISBN 9781604730395
- Delilah Leontium Beasley, The Negro Trail Blazers of California (Times Mirror 1919): 214.
- Ella Sheppard Moore, "The Original Jubilee Singers" The American Missionary (June 1902): 358.
- "Gleanings from All Parts" Chicago Defender (June 4, 1910): 3. via ProQuest
- Saundra Ivey, "Fisk Grads Told Blacks Must Still Battle High Unemployment" The Tennessean (May 16, 1978): 5. via Newspapers.com
- An illustration depicting Jennie Jackson, published in 1873, from the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, Jean Blackwell Hutson Research and Reference Division, New York Public Library Digital Collections.
- Edmund Havel, "Jubilee Singers at the Court of Queen Victoria" (1873), Special Collections, Fisk University Library.
- Toni Passmore Anderson, "The Fisk Jubilee Singers: Performing ambassadors for the survival of an American treasure, 1871-1878" (PhD dissertation, Georgia State University 1997).