From NKAA, Notable Kentucky African Americans Database (main entry)

Jackson, Blyden

(born: 1910  -  died: 2000) 

Born in Paducah, KY, and raised in Louisville, KY, Blyden Jackson was an editor, critic, essayist and activist. He was a graduate of Wilberforce University and the University of Michigan, where he earned his Ph.D. He was an English professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the first African American faculty member in a tenured faculty position. His wife, Roberta, was also a faculty member at the school. Blyden Jackson wrote The Waiting Years: Essays on American Negro Literature and A History of Afro-American Literature and co-authored Black Poetry in America: two essays in historical interpretation. Jackson, credited as a pioneer in the study of Black literature, also wrote many articles. In 1992, the admissions building at Chapel Hill was named in honor of Blyden and Roberta Jackson. Blyden Jackson was the brother of Reid E. Jackson, Sr. For more see the Roberta H. Jackson and Blyden Jackson Papers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Library; Oral History Interview with Blyden Jackson (June 27, 1991) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection at Documenting the American South website; "First tenured Black UNC professor dead at 89," The Associated Press State & Local Wire, 05/06/2000; and "The First Black faculty members at the nation's 50 flagship state universities," The Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, no. 39 (Spring 2003), pp. 118-126.


Cited in this Entry

NKAA Entry: Jackson, Reid E., Sr.
NKAA Source: The waiting years: essays on American Negro literature
NKAA Source: A history of Afro-American literature
NKAA Source: Black poetry in America; two essays in historical interpretation
NKAA Source: The Associated Press State & Local Wire
NKAA Source: Journal of blacks in higher education (periodical)

Related Entries Citing this Entry

NKAA Entry:  Jackson, Reid E., Sr.

Cite This NKAA Entry:

“Jackson, Blyden,” Notable Kentucky African Americans Database, accessed September 28, 2020,

Last modified: 2018-01-26 00:59:19