Jack and Jill Nashville chapter members and Associates

Nashville, Tenn. (TN Tribune)–The year was 1947. “Responding to civil rights advocates, President Harry S. Truman established the President’s Committee on Civil Rights.
Significantly, the committee’s October 1947 report, “To Secure These Rights,” which provided civil rights proponents in Congress with a legislative blueprint for much of the next two decades. Among its recommendations were the creation of a permanent FEPC, the
establishment of a permanent Civil Rights Commission, the creation of a civil rights division in the U.S. Department of Justice, and the enforcement of federal anti-lynching laws and desegregation in interstate transportation.”

Click to view Nashville Chapter of Jack and Jill photo gallery

In Nashville, in 1947, Jim Crow laws requiring public, railroad and
educational segregation, were in full effect.

This was the political climate of a nation in which African American children
were challenged to navigate with the help of their resilient parents,
particularly, mothers.

In April, 1947, a group of resilient mothers formed a study group which
would become known as the Nashville Chapter of Jack and Jill of America,
Incorporated, the first chapter chartered in the Southeastern Region and
the twelfth chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc, These resilient mothers
designed a program of culture, service, and learning for the betterment of
their children and the community in an effort to create a nurturing and
educational environment for their children living in turbulence of the Jim
Crow south.

The Nashville Chapter’s charter members were Dorothy Beasley, Della Hill,
Geraldine B. Fort, Hale Laverne Holland, Lucile Patton Blakemore, Elise
Hope, Ethel Boswell Hunger- Spalding, Mamie Bugg, Kathryn Johnson,
Pearl Creswell, Minnie D. Johnson, Flora Crowder, Ida Jeanette Layton
Forrester, Delores Crump, Anne Odem, Lois Dummett, Elizabeth Petway-
Lowe, Ruth Epps, Benita Scott, Louise Foster, Alice Walker, Lettie
Galloway, and Eleanor Gardner

For 75 years, the Nashville Chapter of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., has
cultivated a village of Mothers working together to develop the hearts and
minds of their children to live, work and serve their community with dignity
and excellence.

On Saturday, April 2, 2022, the current members of the Nashville Chapter
of Jack and Jill of America gathered at Camp Widjiwagan of the YMCA of
Middle Tennessee to celebrate its rich history and to honor the legacy of
the founding Mothers on whose shoulders they stand, determined to
continue the mission of Jack and Jill with great fervor and zeal.

The room shimmered with rose gold accents, nostalgic memorabilia,
commemorative trinkets, a musical performance by Will Davenport and
scrumptious hor d’oeurves. The 27th Southeastern Regional Director,
Latricia Jordan opened the program. The power of technology made it
possible to include a keynote message from the 23 rd National President,
Tamara Turnley Robinson, greetings and congratulatory remarks from the
27 th National President of Jack and Jill of America, Inc., Kornisha McGill
Brown, 25 th National President, Joli Cooper, 15 th National President, Shirley
Barber James, 21 st National Treasurer, Mavis Parkman James, 26 th
National Editor, Gina Williams Jackson, 24 th Regional Director/5Star
National Chair, Gail Ash Dotson and 28 th Regional Director, Darlene
Whittington. The Associate Mothers, who are graduates of the Nashville
Chapter of Jack and Jill and Jill of America, Inc., were the invited guests.

The President of the Nashville Chapter of Jack and Jill of American, Inc.,
Velicia Horton, closed the celebration with a toast: “To the Nashville,
Chapter thank you for 75 years of service in excellence. Thank you for 75
years of service to our community and surrounding areas. Most of all Thank
you for 75 years and your continued service to all children. Long Live Jack
and Jill.”