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John G Jackson
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Jackson was born in Aiken, South Carolina on 1 April 1907 and raised Methodist. At age 15 he moved to Harlem, New York, where he enrolled in Stuyvesant High School. During this time, Jackson became interested in African American history and culture and began writing essays on the subject. They were so impressive that in 1925, while still a high school student, Jackson was invited to write for Marcus Garvey's newspaper, Negro World. From 1930 onwards, Jackson became associated with a number of Pan-African historians, activists and writers, including Hubert H. Harrison, Arturo Alfonso Schomburg, John Henrik Clarke, Willis Nathaniel Huggins and Joel Augustus Rogers. He also authored a number of books on African history, promoting a Pan-African and Afrocentrist view, such as Man, God, and Civilization (1972) and Introduction to African Civilizations (1974). He also became interested in the idea of Christianity's origins in the Egyptian religion. A staunch atheist, he authored a number of books on the idea, including The African Origin of Christianity (1981) and Christianity before Christ (1985), as well as writing the foreword to Gerald Massey's Lectures (1974). He also wrote the controversial text, Was Jesus Christ a Negro? (1984), which argued that Jesus may have been a black man. In 1987, Jackson wrote a biographical article about Hubert Harrison for American Atheists called "Hubert Henry Harrison: The Black Socrates". In it, he praised not only Harrison's agnosticism, but also his educational and civil rights achievements. That same year he wrote a book with the same title and material. During his life, Jackson also served as Associate Director of the Blyden Society and lectured at many colleges and universities throughout the United States. He died on 13 October 1993.
|Posted on August 9, 2011|