"God opened my mouth and no man can shut it." With this firm belief in God and herself, "Ma" Jackson acieved extraordinary success in securing equal rights for blacks in Baltimore and Maryland. Born in 1889, she began fighting for black equality and civil rights in the late 1920's after several personal incidents of discrimination.
President of Baltimore's NAACP chapter from 1935-69, Mrs. Jackson expanded it into the largest chapter in the nation by 1946. Under her leadership, and with the helf of the NAACP's Legal Redress Committee, the chapter desegregated the city's private and public facilities, worked for equal employment opportunities, secured the election of blacks to public office, and removed Jim Crow laws. The organization also equalized teachers' salaries throughout the state and, in a series of cased from 1935-50, opened the University of Maryland to blacks.
Mrs. Jackson believed in the powers of the church, school, and home to shape character. She desired ultimately to join blacks and white in a single, unified community; for, as she said, "You can't have freedom and equality without brotherhood, and you can't have brotherhood without freedom and equality." Lillie May Carroll Jackson died on July 5, 1975.
An NAACP delegation led by Dr. Lillie Carroll Jackson and W.A.C. Hughes in a protest hearing before the liqous board, 1957.