My Contribution: I worked for the advancement of Harrisburg’s Black community. As grand trustee of the Elks Lodge for over 25 years, I led and raised funds for Forster Street YMCA, and served as president of the Harrisburg chapter of the NAACP and treasurer for Harrisburg Housing Authority. I was especially concerned with fair housing for the city’s African American population.
My Legacy: I was an active member of local fraternal organizations and an advocate for the equality of the Black community. Later in my life, I became a leading advocate for fair housing and today a section of public housing in Harrisburg named after me.
About Me: “The annual meeting of the Harrisburg branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People was held last night in the Bethel A.M.E. Church. C. Sylvester Jackson was elected president of the association…The association was founded with the purpose of promoting closer fellowship between the races and the Harrisburg branch has both white and colored persons as members.” — The Evening News, December 13, 1918
Full Name: Charles Sylvester Jackson • Birth Date: August 6, 1883 (Draft Registration Cards) or 1884 (Federal Census Records) • Death Date: December 13, 1963 • Place of Birth: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania • Sex: Male • Race: Black (1910 Federal Census), Black/“Colored” (1920 Federal Census), “Negro” (1930 and 1940 Federal Censuses), “Colored” (1963 Death Certificate) • Places of Residence: Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: 214 N. River Street (1907), 21 N. 15th Street, and 434 Boas Street (1940-1963). • Con- nection to the Old Eighth Ward: Many close friends and collaborators; involved in Bethel A.M.E. Church. • Family Members: Father: Charles Jackson. Mother: Mary Nelson Jackson. Brother: Robert Jackson. Wife: Violet C. Williams Jackson, m. July 19, 1905-December 13, 1963. Niece: Minnie Williams. • Education: Harrisburg High
School graduate, 1903. • Occupations: Stenographer (1910). Private Secretary for John Boyd Estate (1917-1940). Secretary (1963 – death certificate). • Church Membership: Bethel A.M.E. (superintendent). • Activism: Actively involved in community organizations, political organizations, and church: Forster Street Colored YMCA (member drive leader and boys’ Bible class leader); State Executive Committee for YMCA (member); Pennsylvania Elks Unity Lodge No. 71 (grand trustee); NAACP Harrisburg chapter (president 1919); Harrisburg Housing Authority (treasurer); song festival at Bethel A.M.E. Church (master of ceremonies); and C. Sylvester Jackson Boys’ Bible Class of the YMCA. • Connections: James Auter, Alexander Dennee Bibb, Cassius M. Brown, Sylvester E. Burris, Harry Burrs, W. Arthur Carter, W. Justin Carter, Dr. Charles Crampton, Walter Hooper, Leonard C. Johnson, Dr. William E. Mar- shall, Robert J. Nelson, Dr. Henry Edwin Parsons, and Daniel Potter.