Heroes in Black History: Dr. Prince Jackson

By Dawn Baker - email | bio

SAVANNAH, GA (WTOC) - Remembering the life of a man most of us knew and respected, the late Dr. Prince Jackson. Anyone from around the area probably knows the name or remembers his distinctive voice. Whether he was fighting for equal rights or educating children, Dr. Jackson was a force to be reckoned with- a real champion of the people - for the people.

Dr. Prince Jackson always believed with hard work,we could do anything."There is a driving force in me I think to uplift and to help people realize that equality belongs to those of us who make ourselves equal. It just doesn't come by sitting down," explained Dr. Jackson years ago.

He certainly led by example. As president of then Savannah State College in 1971, Jackson established the third Naval Reserve Officer Training Corp at a university. Thanks to that program we have history makers like Marine Corps Lt. General Walter Gaskin. Jackson also started the university's radio station which was only the fifth on a Black campus in the nation. Most may know him as the face of the Savannah Chapter of the NAACP where he served as president for many years. He also part of the group that started Savannah's Martin Luther King Junior remembrance celebration. "Like Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackson was a drum major for justice. Prince was fearless.He stood up for justice and was ready to speak up wherever justice was denied," explained Rev. Matthew Southall Brown.

"He kind of fit the name Prince because that is exactly what he has been to this community," added Bennie Polote.

Both Polote and Brown were Jackson's close friends and they remember how he dedicated his life to helping others.

"Dr. Jackson was a profound lover of youth and young adults. He worked very hard to see that they were educated and launched in the world," said Rev. Brown.

"I feel like Prince was one of the richest people I have ever known. He always exemplified that richness was not about earthly possessions. It wasn't about money. It was about caring for people," said Polote.

Dr. Jackson passed last September. Friends remember him as a "beacon of hope". They say his legacy is one of encouraging people to stop talking about their problems and get involved to make the changes we want to see.

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