Civil Rights foot soldier, local farmer dies at 98

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 14, 2007

staff report

The community today is remembering the life of Emma Jackson of Sardis, a foot soldier in the Civil Rights Movement who died June 7 at 98.

Funeral services are today at 1 p.m. at the New Shiloh Baptist Church in Sardis.

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Holyfield said she learned much about her mother during the past three years. &8220;I wouldn’t trade the time I had with her for anything,&8221; she said.

Jackson participated in three marches in March 1965, including Bloody Sunday, events she recounted in a 2005 article in The Times-Journal.

Despite some misgivings, she marched again to pray at the middle of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, then in the Selma to Montgomery March.

When asked if she would march again, she said, &8220;Oh, yes.&8221;

Born in Sardis in 1909, Jackson said she never knew her mother, who died hours after she was born.

She was raised on a farm and because her help was needed, she only attended school up to the fourth grade.

She recalled picking 200 pounds of cotton a day, and had her own garden where she raised turnips, collards, cabbage, tomatoes, peppers and okra.

In her later years, Jackson worked as a cook at Shiloh School in Sardis.

Holyfield said her mother continued attending Mt. Nebo Church and was active right up until the past couple of weeks.

In the 2005 article, Jackson said that even though she was one of the oldest voting rights marchers, she just wanted to be remembered as a good Christian.