[Atlanta, Ga. and other locations: Mostly 1940-1953]. Photographic scrapbook and three photograph albums, comprised of approximately 1,035 photographs, the great majority mounted but some laid in, plus a significant amount of ephemeral items, mostly in the scrapbook. All in original, contemporary albums. Tape reinforcement along front spine of one album, else minor to moderate wear and moderate dust soiling. Occasional wear to photographs, but most in nice shape. Very good. Item #3140
A wonderful collection of four family photograph albums and scrapbooks compiled by Mamie Marie Walton Jackson of Atlanta, Georgia in the mid-20th century, documenting her university life, her early adulthood and parental years, early teaching career, and a 1952 family vacation through the American West to California. Mamie W. Jackson (1916-2009) graduated from historically-Black Clark College in Atlanta in 1940. She embarked on a public school teaching career about the same time she began to raise a family with Jerry B. Jackson, whom she married in 1941. Mamie is noted in the 1950 census as a home economics teacher, living with her parents once again, along with her son, Durante, who was born in 1947. In the present collection, she is pictured both before and after 1950 with her husband, Jerry; anecdotal evidence here suggests Jerry may have lived separately from his family for some time due to his employment in Oakland. The four albums present here are detailed as follows:
1. Mamie Jackson's Clark University "School Silhouettes" Scrapbook and Photograph Album. Atlanta, 1940. Oblong folio. Contemporary yellow cloth stamped in green, string tied. Mamie has taken great care to fill this senior-year college album with dozens of portraits of herself and her friends and classmates (often with identifying handwritten captions), some original and some presumably cut out of newspapers or yearbooks. She has also often elaborately hand-lettered the album with the school name, school colors, the school flower, and so forth. Throughout the album, Mamie has written lists of items relating to her school career and personality, such as class officers, things she loves and hates, her teachers, her secret societies, her fellow 1940 graduating class, and more. She has also written out the full lyrics to the class song and the commencement schedule, thoroughly documented the school's sports teams, and procured sentiments from dozens of fellow students. In addition to the manuscript material, Mamie has mounted numerous ephemeral items in the album, such as cutout pictures of the campus, her American Red Cross First Aid Service instructor cards, her prom invitation, newspaper clippings, commencement invitation and programs, graduation greeting cards from various friends and family, and various yearbook clippings. Among the pictures of Mamie, Jerry, and their friends and associates laid into this album are a few lovely hand-colored portraits of Mamie - one inscribed to her parents, another inscribed in 1944 to her husband, and another of Mamie in her graduation cap and gown, inscribed, "Mamie Marie Clark College 1940."
2. Vernacular Family Photograph Album Documenting Mamie Jackson's Early Married and Parental Life. Atlanta, ca. 1941-1953. Contemporary maroon leatherette, front cover bordered in gilt-tooled decorations. Front spine reinforced in cello tape. This family photograph album accounts for about half of the total photograph count between the four albums, as it is chock full of photographs beginning with Mamie and Jerry Jackson's wedding, and proceeding through their early family life, with legions of pictures of Mamie, Jerry, and Durante posed outside and inside their house, images of Mamie and Durante while they were presumably living back at home with her parents, her brother Robert and his daughter Janice, pictures of other young family and friends at holidays and picnics, posed with a new television set, images of Mamie, Jerry, and Durante after Jerry re-enters the home front, pictures of Durante winning a school costume contest, the children learning to play the piano and dressed up for Halloween, and much more. The album documents Durante as he grows from a baby and toddler to a twelve-year-old young man, and depicts a traditional American family during the prosperous years following the Second World War.
3. Photograph Album Documenting A Year in Mamie Jackson's Teaching Career at Segregated Buford High School in the Early 1950s. Buford, Ga. 1951-1952. Contemporary tan cloth. Tall quarto. A neat collection of photographs beginning with a couple of pages of portraits of students and faculty, each captioned in the lower margin, "School Days 1951-52." Mamie Jackson taught that year at Buford High School in north-central Georgia. The album documents her teaching year in detail, with pictures of Mamie and Durante posed outside the school, pictures of the graduating class in cap and gown, images of the students at prom, Mamie and other teachers on a trip together, group shots of Mamie's class, pictures of the Buford High basketball team, and legions of shots of Mamie's students both inside and outside the classroom. The most striking photograph in this album is a 7.5-x-10-inch group picture of the "Hi-Y and Tri-Hi-Y Christian Life Conference Atlanta, Ga. April 4-6, 1952."
4. Annotated Vernacular Photograph Album Memorializing the 1952 Jackson Family Vacation to California and Back to Atlanta Through the American Southwest. Contemporary green cloth. An engaging photograph album documenting a vacation taken by the Jacksons - Jerry, Mamie, and Durante - along with niece Janice, titled in manuscript on the first leaf, "Our Summer Vacation in California 1952 - Janice Durante Mamie Jerry." The next page of the album indicates that Mamie, Durante, and Janice traveled by themselves to Lusk Street, Oakland "to visit Jerry." While in California, the group celebrates Durante's fifth birthday in the park, play in the park at the neighborhood school, ride a merry-go-round, a horse-drawn carriage, the train, and horses at Auditorium Park, take the ferry to San Francisco, ride cable cars in San Francisco, and visit the San Francisco Zoo. The album proceeds to Los Angeles, where the group visits downtown and Chinatown. The album then documents the travelers on their way back to Georgia - without Jerry - on and off the train in Yunia [i.e., Yuma], Arizona; Lordsburg, New Mexico; Del Rio, Texas; San Antonio; New Orleans; and the Rock City Gardens in Lookout Mountain. The album ends with several pages of images from throughout their trip that Mamie did not incorporate in the chronological presentation of their journey. In addition to the photos, Mamie has included a couple of pieces of ephemera as decorative flourishes to the album, namely a color cardboard map of California and a pennant advertising Oakland.
An unusually thorough portrait of an educated African American student, teacher, mother, and traveler from Jim Crow Georgia throughout the 1940s and into the early '50s.