Vera Jackson

Vera Jackson (July 21, 1912 – January 26, 1999) was a "pioneer woman photographer in the black press".[1][2] She photographed African-American social life and celebrity culture in 1930s and 1940s Los Angeles. Noted photographic subjects included major league baseball player Jackie Robinson, educator Mary McLeod Bethune, and actresses Dorothy Dandridge, Hattie McDaniel and Lena Horne.[3][2]

Vera Ruth Jackson
Born(1912-07-21)July 21, 1912
DiedJanuary 26, 1999(1999-01-26) (aged 86)
OccupationPhotographer, Teacher
Spouse(s)Vernon D. Jackson (1907–1983), m. 1931


Jackson was a freelance photographer with the California Eagle. Editor Charlotta Bass later hired her as a staff photographer and often paired her to work with society editor Jessie Mae Brown (later Jessie Brown Beavers) until Brown left for the Los Angeles Sentinel.[3]

When Jackson left the California Eagle, she earned both her B.A. (1952) and Master’s (1954) in education and became a Los Angeles University School District teacher. She retired after 25 years.[1]

During her teaching career, Jackson continued with freelance photography. Her work has been exhibited at the UCLA Gallery, the Riverside Art Museum, the Black Gallery of Los Angeles, and the National Museum of Women in the Arts,[4] as well as the Los Angeles Country Public Library, the Afro-American Museum of History and Culture in Los Angeles and the Museum of Art in San Francisco.[5]


  • Akron Art Museum[6] A Vera Jackson photograph was also included in an Akron Art Museum exhibit A History of Women Photographers.[7]
  • Charlotta Bass & California Eagle Photograph Collection, 1870-1960, USC[8]


  1. ^ a b "Vera Jackson, Teacher, California Eagle Photographer, Dies at 88". Los Angeles Sentinel. February 10, 1999.
  2. ^ a b Finkelman, Paul (2012). Encyclopedia of African American history, 1896 to the present from the age of segregation to the twenty-first century. Oxford University Press. p. 86. OCLC 904531460. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  3. ^ a b Moutoussamy-Ashe, Jeanne (1993). Viewfinders: Black Women Photographers. Writers & Readers Publ. pp. 86–87. ISBN 0863161588. OCLC 248680578. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  4. ^ "Collection - Akron Art Museum, Vera Jackson". Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  5. ^ Moutoussamy-Ashe (1993). Viewfinders: Black Women Photographers. p. 88. OCLC 248680578.
  6. ^ "Collection - Akron Art Museum, Vera Jackson".
  7. ^ Goldberg, Vicki (8 November 1996). "Women Get a Place in the Big Picture". The New York Times. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  8. ^ "Charlotta Bass / California Eagle Photograph Collection, 1870-1960". USC Digital Library. Retrieved June 24, 2017.

Further readingEdit

  • Bogle, Donald (1998), Dorothy Dandridge: A Biography, New York: Boulevard, ISBN 9781572972926, OCLC 925239361. Includes photographs by and conversations with Vera Jackson, who knew the Dandridge and her family from Wichita, Kansas.
  • Fuller, Diana Burgess; Salvioni, Daniela (2002), Art, Women, California 1950-2000: Parallels and Intersections, Berkeley: University of California Press, ISBN 9780520230668, OCLC 46777469.
  • Harris, Thomas Allen, Through a Lens Darkly : Black Photographers and the Emergence of a People. This film has been shown on PBS.[1]
  • Heller, Jules; Heller, Nancy G. (1995), North American Women Artists of the Twentieth Century: A Biographical Dictionary, New York: Garland Publishing, OCLC 807112309.[2]
  • Kreisel, Martha (1999), American Women Photographers: A Selected and Annotated Bibliography, Westport: Greenwood Press, ISBN 9780313304781, OCLC 751244618.[3]
  • Natanson, Nicholas (1992), The Black Image in the New Deal: The Politics of FSA Photography, Knoxville: University of Tennessee Press, OCLC 869376123.[4]
  • Nelson, Stanley (2015), The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords, OCLC 914226393. This film includes interview with Vera Jackson and has been shown on PBS.[5]
  • Squiers, Carol (1998), "Original, Savvy, Fearless, and Female", American Photo: 57(photo), 63, ISSN 1046-8986.
  • Thomas, Margaret Frances (2007), "Through the lens of experience: American women newspaper photographers", University of Texas, Austin, Austin, TX: University of Texas, Austin, pp. 92–94, retrieved June 24, 2017.
  1. ^ "Through a Lens Darkly | African American Photography". Independent Lens | PBS.
  2. ^ Heller, Jules; Heller, Nancy G (1995). North American women artists of the twentieth century: a biographical dictionary. Garland Publishing. OCLC 807112309. Retrieved June 24, 2017.
  3. ^ Kreisel, Martha (1999). American Women Photographers: a selected and annotated bibliography. Westport, Conn. [u.a.]: Greenwood Press. pp. 138, 311. ISBN 9780313304781.
  4. ^ Natanson, Nicholas (1992). The Black Image in the New Deal: The Politics of FSA Photography. University of Tennessee Press. ISBN 0870497235. OCLC 869376123.
  5. ^ "The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords". PBS. Retrieved June 24, 2017.