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Angela Jackson (1951- ) Papers

Identifier: 31/6/193

  • Staff Only
  • No requestable containers

Scope and Contents

The Biographical Materials section contains a biographical sketch of Angela Jackson, material regarding her family, education, personal correspondence, and magazines, largely spanning the dates 1991 to 2015 in print and born-digital formats. Documentation on Angela Jackson's family includes information about reunions and genealogy of the Robinson and Jackson families. The material regarding Jackson's education spans 1968-1980s. They are predominately essays from undergraduate English courses at Northwestern University. They also include her master's thesis at the University of Chicago regrading changes in Yoruba religion in Nigeria and Brazil. Also related are drafts of the thesis as well as notes and reference material. This section also includes poetry Jackson wrote at the Bennington Writing Seminar, including editorial notes. The bulk of the biographical materials section consists of personal correspondence. These folders are arranged alphabetically, and span the dates 2010 to 2014. Some notable correspondents are Jeff Donaldson, Reginald Gibbons, and Patricia Spears Jones. This section also includes magazines that feature Jackson. These publications mention festivals at which Jackson was scheduled to speak or which she was to attend, often including discussion of her recently-published work and brief biographies. The pages in which Jackson is mentioned are marked. The section also includes birthday and thank-you cards, as well as correspondence about submissions to publishers.

The Writings section includes several manuscripts and drafts of poetry, prose, plays, articles/essays and screenplays, both published and unpublished, written by Angela Jackson in print and born-digital formats. Many of the manuscripts include handwritten drafts and notes. Notably, this section has several drafts of Jackson's novel Where I Must Go, manuscripts of the poetry collection The Midnight Market, and drafts and correspondences regarding the play Shango Diaspora. The section also includes several romance novels for which Jackson wrote under the pseudonym, Lia Sanders, in collaboration with Sandra Jackson-Opoku, as well as the manuscript for the romance novel Nora, Who Is A Woman, which Jackson wrote under the pseudonym Marci St. George. This section also includes manuscripts and drafts by other writing such as Johari M. Amini-Hudson, Morgan Johnson and Melvin Lewis, whose work was published alongside Jackson's in literature/poetry journals.

The Teaching section contains correspondence concerning Jackson's hiring, along with brochures and pamphlets on events taking place at the institutions. Some folders have poetry by Jackson that she wrote for the St. Charles Luanga School and poetry written by students attending a summer program at that same school. Also, the Prologue Alternate High School materials include student evaluations of the students Jackson instructed, as well as several pieces of poetry that the students wrote in the class as well as the class play. The school visits folder, spanning the years 1982-1999, includes newspaper clippings on visits from Angela Jackson, poetry children wrote in relation to those visits and thank-you letters to Jackson from the children at the school visits. Finally, the section includes folders of material Jackson used while teaching literature and writing courses between the dates 1986 to 2012. These folders contain syllabi, quizzes, discussion questions, copies of the poetry/literature that was taught and notes.

The Speaking Engagements section spans from the 1970s to the 2010s and largely contains brochures, posters and newsletters of events where Angela Jackson was a guest. Some of the events include visits to writing organizations such as the Poetry Society of America, Young Chicago Poets, ETA Creative Arts Foundation Inc.; events held by literature organizations such as the Gwendolyn Brooks Writers' Conference on Black Literature and Creative Writing, Society for the Study of Multi-Ethnic Literature, Decatur Young Authors Conference; and events held in universities such as the Northwestern University Black Alumni Association, the Northwestern Summer Writers' Conference, and the Lewis University Commencement. Jackson's participation in the HistoryMakers oral history archive and a "Visualizing Blackness" symposium are also included. The HistoryMakers folder features a story that Jackson wrote for an event, as well as material concerning a video oral history interview that had been incorporated into the HistoryMakers Collection. The "Visualizing Blackness" folder largely includes information about the symposium, including pamphlets and biographies of participants.

The Subject Files, section spans between 1967 and 2011, and is arranged alphabetically by type of document, into correspondences, notes, poetry, newspaper clippings and others. The section covers materials collected in the Organization of Black American Culture (OBAC). It includes magazine clippings and newspaper articles related to and collected by the organization, as well as correspondences within the organization, with a separate folder for correspondence with the Council on Leaders and Specialists (CLS) and International Visitor's Center. It also contains several issues of magazines and journals related to that organization, namely Cumbaya, Nommo and Third World Press, as well as several poems and prose written by members of the organization, including Jackson. It also includes a folder containing handwritten notes on OBAC meetings from 1970 to 1975, as well as some drafts of poetry and prose written by OBAC members with revision notes included in them. Other folders in this collection include news clippings and material on FESTAC, especially on the 2nd World Black and African Festival of Arts and Culture. This includes correspondence regarding the festival, as well as notes on prose, poetry, and essays. It also includes material on the festival, as well as material on Lagos, Nigeria, where the festival took place.

The General section contains subject files and magazines. The subject files include photographs and several folders on screenwriting. In particular, the TV/Screenwriting and Marketing folder contains a packet on Bob Aller's Screenwriter's Workshop held at Northwestern University, July 21-22, 1984, that discusses how to write effective screenplays for film and television. The magazines folders include issues of First World from 1977-1980, along with a few others.

The Journals/Publication section contains several journals, anthologies and poetry collection in which Jackson's work was published, or with which she was otherwise involved, along with a few textbooks on writing. Of note is The Tender Mending, a romance novel written under the pseudonym, Lia Sanders, in collaboration with Sandra Jackson-Opoku. The collection includes translations of this story into Spanish and Dutch, among other languages. The section also includes an uncorrected page proof of A Surprised Queenhood in the New Black Sun: the Life and Legacy of Gwendolyn Brooks. The copies of the book Some of My Best Friends, as well as Poetry from the Masters Black Arts Movement, contain a letter to Angela Jackson inside the front cover from the editor(s).


  • 1966 - 2018


Conditions Governing Access

Folder 4, 5 and 6 in Box 28, which covers documents on Prologue Alternative High School, Kennedy-King College and School Visits, and Folder 4 in Box 29 on teaching materials contain student information and are thus restricted. The born-digital media in this collection has been processed and is available by request with one exception. The CD, "New Letters on the Air: Angela Jackson" (University of Missouri—Kansas City) is damaged and not currently readable.

Conditions Governing Use

The intellectual property rights of the physical and born-digital materials in this collection belong to the original creators and may be subject to copyright and other restrictions.


39 Boxes

5.86 Gigabytes

Language of Materials



Angela Jackson (1951- ), a member of Northwestern University's class of 1977, is a poet, novelist, playwright, and biographer. Her papers span the years 1966-2018 in 39 boxes and 5.86 gigabytes; they contain biographical materials, correspondence, manuscripts, teaching material, and publications in physical and born-digital formats.


The papers of Angela Jackson are organized into: nine series: Biographical Material, Correspondence, Writings, Teaching, Speaking Engagements, Subject Files, Photographs, Journals/Publications and Born-Digital Materials. Several series are further divided into sub-series. The Writings series is broken into seven sub-series based on genre or author name: Poetry, Plays, Prose, Articles/Essays, TV/Film, Works written under a pseudonym, and Works of other authors. Born-digital materials are integrated intellectualy within the series/sub-series arrangement of this finding aid with the physical materials. The last series, Born-Digital Materials, describes the physical media carriers included in the collection.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

Available born-digital materials in this collection are delivered to researchers in born-digital formats. Requests for different access methods, such as those not using computers or with the aid of assistive technologies, must be made in advance of a research appointment to Library staff.

Accessible born-digital material within the collection must be viewed within the McCormick Library Reading Room during research appointments. All necessary hardware and software will be provided during the appointment to access these materials to the best of our abilities.

While available for research, the born-digital materials in this collection cannot be sent electronically nor can be published in our online repository due to copyright restrictions. Requests to access born-digital files must be viewed on-site in the McCormick Library Reading Room unless otherwise arranged. All necessary hardware and software will be provided during the appointment to access these materials to the best of our abilities.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Angela Jackson donated her papers to Northwestern University Archives in July 2018 (accession #18-69).

Related Materials

Records of TriQuarterly

Separated Materials

One linear foot of duplicate materials was removed and returned to the donor. The original materials that were photocopied or scanned for preservation purposes were offered back to the donor.

General Note

Mold was found on a number of papers in the collection. The pages were cleaned and remediated, and some of the pages have been photocopied or scanned for preservation purposes. In the cases where preservation photocopies or scans exist in the collection, the papers will either be sleeved with plastic sleeves, stored in paper inserts with a note on the insert, or have “photocopy” or “scan” written in pencil on the back. While materials have been cleaned, mold still may be present. The affected papers are stored in boxes 40 and 41; working with these materials requires caution.

Guide to the Angela Jackson (1951- ) Papers
Claire Pak and Aniya Evans Adjustments and revisions to the arrangement and notes with inclusion of born-digital materials by Alan Kent Akers Jr.
2019, revised 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description

Library Details

Part of the Northwestern University Archives Repository

Deering Library, Level 3
1970 Campus Dr.
Evanston IL 60208-2300 US