The story of Joseph Jackson Jr., hero of the Tougaloo Nine, that graced our cover last week is now going on the air. The Anaheim resident took part in a historic sit-in at Jackson, Mississippi's whites-only public library on March 27, 1961 before disappearing into OC obscurity for decades.
He'll be recounting it all in an interview I recorded May 31 for the Weekly cover story and edited for an hour-long Sojourner Truth Radio with Margaret Prescod special. The program airs this morning from 7-8 a.m., so tune-in to KPFK 90.7FM Los Angeles now!
If you're reading this too late, there's always the KPFK Audio Archives to save the day! And speaking of archives, the Pacifica Radio Archives show "From the Vault" also plans to air the Jackson interview on a date yet to be determined.
"Reading about Paul Robeson, he always had good things to say about Pacifica," Jackson says by phone. KPFK is part of the listener-sponsored Pacifica Radio network of five stations across the nation. "I feel connected to the brother, my hero, my idol, more now with these programs."
There's another connection, still. OC's living civil rights hero sure can belt a tune or two, in a different tenor than Robeson's bass rattling baritone. Jackson became the only black member of the Long Beach Opera Guild at one time and sang some Mario Lanza while I interviewed him at his home.
And as mentioned in my story, he also did hip-hop music with his grandson Joseph Marcus Jackson IV in Anaheim after retiring, a bond that reconnected him with his Tougaloo Nine history.
Here's Jackson singing a lil' Marvin Gaye on the hooks. With everything going from the Charleston massacre to black churches burning in south these days, that "Oh, mercy, mercy me" hits home harder.
How grand, this man!