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Collection Number: 04646

Collection Title: Roberta H. Jackson and Blyden Jackson Papers, 1955-1991

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This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held in the Wilson Library at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the World Wide Web. See the section for more information.


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Size 11.5 feet of linear shelf space (approximately 7,000 items)
Abstract Roberta H. Jackson (1920-1999), African American professor of education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was married to Blyden Jackson (1910-2000), African American professor of English and dean of the Graduate School at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., and professor of English at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Blyden Jackson wrote novels and works on African American and southern literature. He also served from 1973 to 1981 as the Assistant Dean/Special Assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, charged with promoting the recruitment and retention of minority graduate students and working with the University's Student Aid Office to secure scholarships and fellowships for graduate students. The collection includes office files, correspondence, and other papers relating to African American college teachers Roberta H. Jackson and Blyden Jackson. Most papers relate to Blyden Jackson's teaching of and research on African American literature in the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or to his work recruiting minority students as Assistant Dean/Special Assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School. Other papers relate to Blyden Jackson's work as a member of faculty committees and still others result from his other activities, including editing the Journal of Southern Literature and serving on the North Carolina Humanities Council. Also included are letters, 1959-1963, that Blyden Jackson wrote while teaching at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., to Roberta H. Jackson, in Bluefield, W.Va.
Creator Jackson, Blyden.



Jackson, Roberta H.
Language English
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Restrictions to Access
No restrictions. Open for research.
Use of audiotapes or videotapes may require production of listening or viewing copies.
Copyright Notice
Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.
Preferred Citation
[Identification of item], in the Roberta H. Jackson and Blyden Jackson Papers #4646, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Acquisitions Information
Received from Roberta and Blyden Jackson in January and February 1993 (Acc. 93012 and 93031).
Sensitive Materials Statement
Manuscript collections and archival records may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information that is protected under federal or state right to privacy laws and regulations, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in this collection without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill assumes no responsibility.
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The following terms from Library of Congress Subject Headings suggest topics, persons, geography, etc. interspersed through the entire collection; the terms do not usually represent discrete and easily identifiable portions of the collection--such as folders or items.

Clicking on a subject heading below will take you into the University Library's online catalog.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Biographical Information

Roberta Bowles Hodges Jackson was the first African American woman appointed to the faculty of the Academic Affairs Division of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in a tenure track position. Four years later, in 1974, she was the first African American woman to achieve tenure. Her husband, Blyden Jackson, was the University's first African American full professor. Roberta H. Jackson taught in the School of Education. Blyden Jackson taught in the English Department and was associate dean of the Graduate School.

Born in Germantown, N.C., on 23 February 1920, Roberta Bowles was one of ten children of Roberta, a school teacher, and George Bowles, a coal miner. She graduated from Byrd Prillerman High School in London, W.Va., as valedictorian. She earned a bachelor's degree from Bluefield State College in West Virginia, a master's degree in education from Ohio State University, and a doctorate in education from New York University. She taught at Southern University in Louisiana before joining the faculty of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1970. She retired in 1981. She died on 11 July 1999. She had one son, James Edward Hodges, Jr.

Blyden Jackson was born in Paducah, Ky., in 1910. His father was a history teacher and school principal and his mother was a librarian. Jackson earned a bachelor's degree from Wilberforce University in 1930. He began graduate work at Columbia University, but had to stop for financial reasons. After obtaining a scholarship, he earned a master's degree and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He taught in a junior high school in Louisville, Ky.; at Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.; and at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La. He came to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1969 as the University's first African American full professor. He was a pioneer in the study of African American literature. As associate dean of the Graduate School, Jackson helped recruit minority graduate students to the University. He retired in 1981. After his retirement, Jackson completed the first volume of a planned four-volume history of African American literature, which was published in 1989. Blyden Jackson died in 2000.

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Scope and Content

The collection includes office files, correspondence, and other papers relating to African American college teachers Roberta H. Jackson and Blyden Jackson. Most papers relate to Blyden Jackson's teaching of and research on African American literature in the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill or to his work recruiting minority students as Assistant Dean/Special Assistant to the Dean of the Graduate School. Other papers relate to Blyden Jackson's work as a member of faculty committees and still others result from his other activities, including editing the Journal of Southern Literature and serving on the North Carolina Humanities Council. Also included are letters, 1959-1963, that Blyden Jackson wrote while teaching at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., to Roberta H. Jackson, in Bluefield, W.Va.

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Contents list

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 1. Southern University, 1959-1963.

About 1500 items.

Arrangement: chronological.

Letters, 1959-1963, that Blyden Jackson wrote while teaching at Southern University in Baton Rouge, La., to his wife, Roberta H. Jackson, in Bluefield, W.Va. In almost daily letters, Jackson wrote of missing his wife; a visit to Fisk University in Nashville, Tenn.; his work as an English professor at Southern University; campus gossip; financial matters; attempts to begin writing a novel; thoughts on the works of authors such as James Baldwin; the 1960 Democratic Convention and other political matters; civil rights initiatives and events both locally and elsewhere; and the couple's plans to buy a home together. The letters conclude in August 1963 about Roberta Jackson's move to join her husband in Baton Rouge.

Box 1

August 1959-November 1960 #04646, Series: "1. Southern University, 1959-1963." Box 1

Box 2

December 1960-June 1962 #04646, Series: "1. Southern University, 1959-1963." Box 2

Box 3

July 1962-July 1963 #04646, Series: "1. Southern University, 1959-1963." Box 3

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991.

About 4000 items.

Office files, correspondence, and other papers relating to Blyden Jackson's work at the University of North Carolina. Many papers relate to Jackson's teaching and other activities in the English Department at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Other papers concern his work on committees, as a member of the Faculty Council, and as associate dean of the Graduate School. Note that, in most cases, Jackson's original folder titles have been retained.

Correspondence, 1969-1970 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 3

Box 4

Correspondence, 1970-1972 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 4

Box 5

Correspondence, 1972-1980 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 5

Box 6

Correspondence, 1981-1991 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 6

Box 7

University of North Carolina, 1969-1973 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 7

African and African American Studies #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 7

Black Student Aid, 1970-1971 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 7

Black Studies, 1970-1975 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 7

Brooks Scholarship, 1981 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 7

Carolina Population Center, 1973-1974 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 7

College of Arts and Sciences, 1978-1981 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 7

Committees: Black Faculty, 1972-1975 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 7

Committees: Honorary Degrees, 1974-1982 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 7

Box 8

Committees: North Carolina Fellows, 1970-1972 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 8

Committees: Priorities, 1970-1972 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 8

Committees: Status of Minorities and the Disadvantaged, 1970-1972 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 8

Committees: Upward Bound, 1971-1974 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 8

Curriculum Vitae, 1977-1980 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 8

Emergency Consultative Council, 1970-1975 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 8

Faculty Club, 1973-1975 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 8

Faculty Council, 1969-1971 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 8

Box 9

Faculty Council, 1971-1983 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 9

Graduate School, 1973-1977 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 9

Honors Studies, 1978 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 9

Humanities Division, 1973 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 9

Ikenga, 1970 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 9

Library, 1969 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 9

Southern Studies, 1978 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 9

Survey of Minority Students, 1972 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 9

Sahni, Kiran, 1978 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 9

Box 10

English Dept., 1968-1984 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 10

English Dept.: Advocate, 1978-1981 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 10

English Dept.: Dissertations, 1975-1980 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 10

English Dept.: Graduate Newsletter, 1979-1981 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 10

English Dept.: Group VI, 1976-1980 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 10

English Dept.: Ph.D. Exam Questions, 1976 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 10

English Dept.: Reserve Books List, 1969-1971 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 10

Box 11

English Dept.: Students #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 11

English Dept.: Courses, 1978-1980 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 11

English 23, 1978-1981 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 11

English 24, 1979 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 11

English 28, 1986 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 11

English 30 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 11

English 84, 1973-1980 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 11

English 184, 1976-1983 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 11

English 384, 1975-1981 #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 11

Box 12

Bibliography #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 12

Box 13

Bibliography #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 13

Books to be ordered #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 13

Course material #04646, Series: "2. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1969-1991." Box 13

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988.

About 1500 items.

Arrangement: alphabetical.

Correspondence and other materials relating to Blyden Jackson's professional activities and associations. Included are materials relating to manuscript reviews he wrote for presses and the History of Southern Literature project with the Society for the Study of Southern Literature and Louisiana State University Press. Note that, in most cases, original folder titles have been retained.

Afro-Am Press, 1969-1973 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 13

Black Studies Article, 1977 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 13

Center for the Study of Southern Culture, 1982-1983 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 13

Conference on Southern Literary Study, 1972 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 13

Education Marketing and Research, Inc., 1968-1969 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 13

Box 14

Evergreen State College, 1969-1970 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 14

Faulkner and Yoknapatawpha Conference, 1975 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 14

HEW Leadership Training Institute, 1972-1973 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 14

Louisiana State University Press, 1975-1985 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 14

Box 15

Louisiana State University Press, 1975-1985 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 15

McGraw-Hill Book Company, 1969-1970 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 15

Miscellaneous #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 15

NCTE Committee on Publications, 1972 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 15

National Endowment for the Humanities, 1969-1972 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 15

National Humanities Center, 1980-1986 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 15

Box 16

National Humanities Center, 1980-1986 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 16

North Carolina Arts Council, 1979 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 16

North Carolina Humanities Committee, 1981-1988 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 16

Phylon #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 16

Box 17

Phylon, 1955-1970s #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 17

Reprints, 1970-1971 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 17

Riverbend Review, 1968 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 17

Saint Andrews College, 1969-1970 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 17

Society for the Study of Southern Literature, 1976-1982 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 17

Society for the Study of Southern Literature: A History of Southern Literature, 1982-1983 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 17

Speaking Engagements, 1970-1971 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 17

STEP (Striving Toward English Proficiency) Program, South Carolina State College, 1972-1973 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 17

Teaching Standard English Workshop, 1972 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 17

Village Companies Foundation, 1982-1987 #04646, Series: "3. Professional Activities, 1955-1988." Box 17

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 4. Writings, 1970-1990.

About 200 items.

Arrangement: alphabetical.

Manuscripts and other materials relating to Blyden Jackson's scholarly writings and publishing projects. Researchers should note that, in most cases, original folder titles have been retained and folder titles are not necessarily the same as final manuscript titles.

The first card in the card file is titled "Tentative Index for Biographies of Black Writers: A Preliminary Survey." The cards are grouped by chronological period and then by names of writers. Each card contains a citation to a book or journal article. Some dissertation citations are filed separately at the end.

Box 18

Afro-American Literature Anthology, 1971 #04646, Series: "4. Writings, 1970-1990." Box 18

Black Poetry in America, 1972 #04646, Series: "4. Writings, 1970-1990." Box 18

The Ghetto of the Negro Novel, and other essays #04646, Series: "4. Writings, 1970-1990." Box 18

A History of Afro-American Literature, 1990 #04646, Series: "4. Writings, 1970-1990." Box 18

Box 19

A History of Afro-American Literature, 1990 #04646, Series: "4. Writings, 1970-1990." Box 19

A History of Southern Literature, 1990 #04646, Series: "4. Writings, 1970-1990." Box 19

Box 20

A History of Southern Literature, 1990 #04646, Series: "4. Writings, 1970-1990." Box 20

Poetry of Black America: Permissions, 1970-1971 #04646, Series: "4. Writings, 1970-1990." Box 20

The World of Negro Fiction: the Apprentice Years #04646, Series: "4. Writings, 1970-1990." Box 20

Box 21-22

Box 21

Box 22

Card files #04646, Series: "4. Writings, 1970-1990." Box 21-22

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Series 5. Audiovisual Material.

20 items.

Arrangement: by format.

Audiotape T-4646/1-6

T-4646/1

T-4646/2

T-4646/3

T-4646/4

T-4646/5

T-4646/6

Jackson Conference on Black Literary Biographies (7" reel-to-reel) #04646, Series: "5. Audiovisual Material." T-4646/1-6

Audiotape T-4646/7

ENG.: Forum: American South #2 (Growing Up Black in the Old South and New) (7" reel- to-reel) #04646, Series: "5. Audiovisual Material." T-4646/7

Audiocassette C-4646/1-12

C-4646/1

C-4646/2

C-4646/3

C-4646/4

C-4646/5

C-4646/6

C-4646/7

C-4646/8

C-4646/9

C-4646/10

C-4646/11

C-4646/12

Jackson Conference #04646, Series: "5. Audiovisual Material." C-4646/1-12

These appear to be copies of T-4646/1-6.

Videotape VT-4646/1

A Climate for Genius. Program Five: A Native Son. A #04646, Series: "5. Audiovisual Material." VT-4646/1

Mississippi Library Commission series about Missippi writers produced by the Mississippi Authority for Educational Television in cooperation with Mississippi State University. (U-Matic)

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expand/collapse Expand/collapse Items Separated

Items separated include audiotapes (T-4646), audiocassettes (C-4646), and a videotape (VT-4646).

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Processing Information

Processed by: Linda Sellars and Nancy Kaiser, September 2004

Encoded by: Linda Sellars and Nancy Kaiser, September 2004

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