- Search The Registry
- Teacher’s Forum
- Street Team Youth Programs
- About Us
- Creating Support
- My Account
*Jennie Jackson is celebrated on this date in 1852. She was a Black singer and voice teacher. She was one of the original members of the Fisk Jubilee Singers, a cappella ensemble.
Jennie Jackson was born in Kingston, Tennessee. Her grandfather was enslaved in the household of Andrew Jackson. Her parents were also enslaved, but she was raised in freedom from an early age after her mother, a laundress, was freed. They lived in Nashville, Tennessee, during and after the American Civil War. Jackson enrolled at the Fisk Free Colored School as one of its first students after it opened in 1866. She joined the Jubilee Singers when they formed in 1871.
Jackson toured with the Fisk Jubilee Singers from 1871 to 1877, including concerts in Great Britain and Europe. They sang spirituals and other music in Cappella arrangements. Their tours raised funds for the Fisk University campus. Their audiences included Queen Victoria, Ulysses S. Grant, Henry Ward Beecher, Mark Twain, and William Lloyd Garrison. She left the group in 1877 when she fell ill with colitis. She was at the center of a large 1873 painting of the Fisk Jubilee Singers by Edmund Havel, commissioned by Queen Victoria to commemorate their performance for her. Jackson later sang with a reorganized version of the group and fellow Fisk Jubilee Singer Maggie Porter Cole's group.
In 1891 she formed her sextet, the Jennie Jackson Concert Company. She also taught voice. Jackson married Rev. Andrew J. DeHart in 1884 and lived in the Walnut Hills neighborhood of Cincinnati, Ohio. She was widowed in 1909 and died on May 4, 1910, aged 58 years, in Cincinnati. In 1978, Jackson and the other original members of the Fisk Jubilee Singers were granted posthumous honorary Doctor of Music degrees from Fisk University.