Samuel C. Jackson

 1920 -1987

Samuel Jackson, an organist and choir director, taught music at Oakwood College in the late 1940s and the first half of the 1950s. He assumed leadership of the College Choir in 1951, which had been conducted by Eva Beatrice Dykes for the past seven years, and organized a male chorus that traveled extensively.

Jackson also taught in the Detroit public schools and at Tennessee State University, West Indies College, Middle East College in Beirut, and the University of Eastern Africa in Kenya, East Africa. While in Africa, he was honored by serving as an adjudicator at the National Music Festival in Nairobi, a post offered to him as long as he stayed at the university.

While serving as a missionary, he became ill and returned to the U.S. to recover. He then returned to serve again in Beirut and Kenya. While serving overseas, he organized singing groups that captured top prizes in national music festivals.

Jackson was born in South Carolina, one of four sons of Albert and Olive Jackson, both of whom had come to the U.S. from the British West Indies. He spent his childhood in Brooklyn, where he attended public schools and Greater New York Academy. He also attended Oakwood College Academy in Alabama. He studied music at the Juilliard School of Music, Columbia University, Peabody Conservatory, and Johns Hopkins University.

In retirement Jackson served as organist in the Gainesville, Florida, Bethel Seventh-day Adventist church. He was awarded the Certificate of Merit in 1987 by the Southeastern Conference of Seventh-day Adventists for his service and accomplishments. He and his wife, Sara C. Byers, were residing in Gainesville when he died at age 66.

ds 2012

Sources: Copy of Samuel C. Jackson, Southeastern Conference Certificate of Merit Honoree, 1987, provided by the Oakwood University Library; 1930 U.S. Federal Census; Florida Death Index, 1877-1998; The Aeolians, Directors Recall Precious Memories, Roy E. Malcolm, Editor, 1999, 7.