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Editor Emory O. Jackson, the Birmingham World, and the Fight for Civil Rights in Alabama, 1940-1975


Kimberley Mangun

This cultural biography tells the story of Birmingham World editor Emory O. Jackson. During his 35-year career in Alabama, he waged numerous sustained civil-rights campaigns for the franchise, equal educational opportunities, and justice for the victims of police brutality and bombings. The semiweekly newspaper was central to his advocacy. Jackson wrote editorials and columns that documented injustices and urged legislative and legal action in an effort to secure civil rights for Black Alabamians. His body of work, grounded in protest and passion, was part of the long tradition of the Black Press as an instrument to agitate for social and political change. Jackson also was a frequent speaker at NAACP branches, colleges, and churches. He was known as a commanding, even fiery, speaker who stressed first-class citizenship. Issues explored in the book demonstrate an assertion of constitutional rights in post-World War II America and a remarkable resilience. Editor Emory O. Jackson, the Birmingham World, and the Fight for Civil Rights in Alabama, 1940-1975 is the first scholarly analysis of his work and as such contributes to scholarship on the Civil Rights Movement in Alabama and the nation.

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List of Figures


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Figure 1.1. Portrait of Emory O. Jackson.

Figure 1.2. Front page of the Birmingham World, September 23, 1952.

Figure 2.1. Emory O. Jackson presents the John B. Russwurm Award to Amelia Boynton.

Figure 3.1. Emory O. Jackson and other civil-rights leaders at the US Supreme Court.

Figure 3.2. Attorney Arthur Shores represents Emory O. Jackson, on trial for seeking to integrate city buses.

Figure 4.1. Emory O. Jackson, Pollie Myers, and Autherine Lucy depart the University of Alabama’s administration building.

Figure 5.1. Emory O. Jackson and his press colleagues pose for a photo in the Oval Office after discussing civil-rights legislation.

Figure 6.1. Birmingham Police Department incident reports.

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