Adam Clayton Powell's influence garnered Dr. Mallory and the Harmonizers
an engagement at the Riverdale Church. The group then sang in Oakland, California
where a prominent African American Woman in the sorority (Ida L. Jackson)
was moved by their performance.
Ida L. Jackson was the eighth supreme basilieus of the AKA sorority, the oldest
Black sorority in the United States. The AKA sisters were the epitome of the
"New Negro": educated, smartly dressed, intelligent women with a desire
to help the down trodden.
Ida Jackson was only one of 17 African Americans on Berkeley's Campus.
While at Berkeley, Jackson founded the Rho Chapter of the AKA's with other
African American women. She earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees from
U. C. Beerkely and in 1926 began teaching in the Oakland, California
public school system, becoming the first African American to do so.
But because she was so impressed with the Jubilee Harmonizers, she wanted to
help the school, and later found herself at Saints College.
Ida Jackson's connections at the University of California influenced other sorority
sisters to come to Saints Industrial College.
because of the singing group, Ida Jackson's and Mallory's paths crossed each other.
The differences between the sanctified world and the-upper class AKA members
was obvious in the dress code of the Saints, yet the AKA's acceded to the
practices of the Saints, perhaps out of respect. There was a great deal of tension between
the AKA's and Dr. Mallory. It was said that the presence at the school of women who
were educated much better than she was, challenged Mallory's position at the school,
so much so that she later signed up to complete her education at Jackson
College in Jackson, Mississippi. According to some of the students, Mallory also
taught the sanctified dress code intermingled with the smart dress code of
the AKA's. I personally believe that the combination of the AKA's influence
may partially account for the smartly dressed COGIC women always wearing
sharp suits and dresses, hats gloves, furs and "bling bling".
And if you've ever noticed, the men (from the very first pictures of the saints), have
always been sharply dressed in handsome pin striped suits and hats and modest
"bling bling". Some people refer to this phenomenon, as seen at the various conventions,
as being a major fashion show; I strongly disagree! This is a part of our
"sanctified dress code church culture" stemming from Dad Mason, the founding
fathers, the Bishops and Elders, the Missionaries, Supervisors and Saints at large.
Smart Dress is all you've ever visualized from the earliest of COGIC pictures
up until the present.
By definition of the scriptures (when adhered to and properly applied),
God has always desired that the Saints should have an abundant life and should
Its difficult, by mere observation of one's dress, to distinguish the less fortunate
Saint from those considered to be upper-class. Its not about the clothes, but
its about the hearts of men. I might be somewhat presumptuous concerning God's
mind-set on the "COGIC Ultra Sanctified Dress Culture" , but considering the
opulence of heaven's walls of jasper, its pearly gates, its streets paved with gold,
which we're anticipating, its quite suspect that God is very candid and doesn't have
a problem accepting the opulence of the Saints. So, its imperative
that we stop knocking the fashion shows! Dress up or come modestly or
casually clad! Since God doesn't mind, it doesn't matter.
Come as you are to the throne of grace!
Ida Jackson's connections with the University of California influenced even more
sororty sisters to come to Saint's College, including two white teachers who decided
to apply for teaching positions at Saints College following their graduation
Dr. Mallory welcomed them, but this created problems with the whites within the
community around the school. Because of the racism that these teachers
and Mallory faced, according to Ida Jackson, "the two teachers were not permitted
to remain and teach because of the feelings of the white residents in the community
who unhesitantly threatened to destroy the buildings if they attempted to teach
under the supervision of a Nigger. " According to Mallory's biographer, a group
of white men showed up at her porch to confront her one night. They said to her:
"Who told you that you could have white teachers out here? You are one of those smart niggers from the North that don't know your place, and we came to put you in your place.
We came to lynch you tonight."
They left after one of them said, "Give her a chance to get them away. " And
Mallory promised to do so. As we can see, education, when it is challenged by the
racial conventions of Jim Crow, was a dangerous enterprise; But this only strengthened
the AKA's desires to help Saints College. Mallory requested the sorority
sisters to come back the following year; and they did, but this time they stressed
better facilities and better health care for the school, and for Dr. Mallory
(for she was the local Midwife), and for the community. When the community didn't
come to them (because of outside agitators to the sharecroppers on the plantations),
the sorority sisters said that if the community cannot come to the Saints,
the Saints will come to the community. They made the health clinics mobile,
driving cars to the plantations. In 1936, due to the tensions among the
volunteers, the health project moved to neighboring Bolivar County.
Mallory's views concerning education and civic engagement, alongside a
sanctified life would prove to later become very fortunate for the future success
of Saints College. The emphasis on being a good citizen, in spite of the realities of
Jim Crow, points to a belief in the American Dreams of progress,
social uplift and prosperity.
The Article Below Is From The Scrapbook Archives Of Bishop C. C. Owens