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Leadership and Dr. Lillie M. Jackson

Leadership and Dr. Lillie M. Jackson

(p.76) Chapter Three Leadership and Dr. Lillie M. Jackson
Borders of Equality
Lee Sartain
University Press of Mississippi

Lillie May Jackson assumed the presidency of the NAACP’s Baltimore branch in 1935 and served in that capacity until January 1970, a period that spanned the New Deal and the end of the civil rights movement. Her long tenure was exceptional, made possible by her charismatic and dominating personality and by creating an organization of familial and social networks that defined civil rights in Baltimore for almost forty years. This chapter examines Jackson and her family’s dominance of the NAACP’s Baltimore branch from the early 1930s, as well as the philosophical and tactical approaches to civil rights that were employed during her presidency. It looks at criticisms hurled against Jackson during her tenure as president, both from the Baltimore community and the national NAACP. The chapter also reevaluates the concept that women were simply background workers in early civil rights activities, reassesses ideas of civil rights leadership, and analyzes why some women could become “traditional” leaders.

Keywords:   civil rights movement, NAACP, Baltimore, civil rights, Lillie M. Jackson, women, leadership

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