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Mrs. Rose Jackson Full Interview
Rose Jackson was born in Louisville, Mississippi, to Willie O Clayton Hathorne and Bertha Ophelia (Young) Hathorne; she had three sisters and three brothers. She left school at fifteen to marry her first husband, with whom she had five children; after his death, she married John Jackson, with whom she had another daughter. She worked as a cleaner and hairdresser, and received her diploma from Portland High night school. At the time of this interview, she had been living in Maine 40 years; her family moved here because she had a brother-in-law who had been a freedom rider.
“And my baby boy. I lived right by a school. And when he growed up old enough to go to school I walked him to school and he's, 'Mom, I'm old enough to go on my own.' So we lived by some woods. So what I would do, I would let him go down this trail and I'd tell him, 'Now don't ever go through the woods.' And I would slip through the woods so he wouldn't see me. I would hide over in the woods behind a tree and watch him until he go in the door. And then he got big enough to go the neighborhood store to get a loaf of bread or whatever, and I would go round the trail, up the other way, and watch him. So then one day he caught me. He's, 'Mama, please, when is I gonna get old enough for you to let me go?' Then finally I let him start going. He talked about that the other night. 'Mom, why were you like that?' 'Well that's why I was too overprotective; cause you were my baby.' When he would get out of school at lunchtime, me and him would go to Grant's department stores. Well, we would go up there to the lunch counter and have lunch. Oh, that was a good time. Me and my boy had lunch.”
University of Southern Maine African American Collection
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Suja, Hamida, "Mrs. Rose Jackson on Education" (2001). Quotes. 14.
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