REMARKABLE OLIVE JACKSON

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Submitted Date 06/17/2022
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*In honor of the first recorded African American Baha'i woman and the Pupil of the Eye conference.*

Remarkable: worthy of note, striking, exceptional
This term is defined by its own name
But in what terms do we define it?
What characteristics outline the figures who make the headlines?
Again and again and again
"Remarkable" is marked by wealth and whiteness
By negroes known to public men
This was the headline of the article posted
after the death of Robert Turner
the first African American Baha'i
"Negro, known to public men, dies"

And what of Olive Jackson?
What of the pure-hearted dressmaker and mother
With Sun-kissed brown skin
Whose name we find on a New York roster around the same time
Did any wait with bated breath to write from whence she came?
Did any display her likeness in a frame?
Did any honor this act, this woman
Remark upon her name?

Olive Jackson
Olive Jackson
Olive Jackson

For she trusted a unity of vision that circumstances could not let her see
She aligned her soul and name to a newly-born faith
Destined for crisis and victory

And the Concourse on High deemed her remarkable
And the Supreme Pen deemed her remarkable
And we, who tell the stories
Marked by beauty in diversity
By nobility of character
By nearness to the Divine

Will redefine
Remarkable


Please view the YouTube video of Olive Jackson's story, created in collaboration with Geneva Walker.

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