Patricia "Pat" Jackson - On her family, faith, community, and civil rightsInterviewed by Hudson Vaughan on June 5, 2008
Patricia Jackson grew up in Chapel Hill, NC and has been a member of St. Joseph CME Church for over forty years. She now works with Wake County Schools and is also a church secretary, a stewardess, and a community activist. This interview was done as part of the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History’s life histories of local leaders. She recounts memories of grandparents, especially maternal grandmother. She comes from family of caretakers; lineage of family; church experience growing up—she changed from First Baptist to St. Joseph CME. She shares her experiences with visiting UNC’s campus, the Civil Right’s demonstrations in the 60’s and sit-ins at local drugstore. She goes on to speak about how she recalls Carolina Theatre, and Carolina Coffee Shop. She includes a memory of march ending with fire hoses and reflections on Hargraves and St. Joseph as community centers. Her community mentors were Mr. Hargraves and Howard Lee. The interview includes her experiences of pride at Lincoln High, integration of schools and importance of women figures in her life, especially in family and at church. This flows into how she builds a connection between church and residential “Pottersfield” community. She reflects on social justice at St. Joseph and the importance of Methodist theology and gender roles in church. She shares her journey of becoming a secretary and stewardess and campaigning for Howard Lee during 1968 Mayoral Election. She recounts her experience of raising her first child while finishing school. She begins to conclude the interview with her life in Spokane, Washington in the 70’s; moving back to Chapel Hill; continued influence of “independent, strong-willed” women in her life, especially her sister Gladys Pendergraph and her mother in law, Marian Cheek Jackson. She continues to share her experiences of raising children, memories of her father, the importance of family, physical locations around Chapel Hill in the 1960’s, Hargraves as true community center, and finally, how the mission of St. Joseph CME and connection to her life.
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