I attended kindergarten here. I remember distinctly my teacher, Mrs. Pinkston. And Mrs. Pinkston would not call me Sherri Lynn, she called me Selfie Lynn. I was told, I don’t recall, that I would go to the playground and when there was a child on the swing that I wanted to swing on I would meanly push the child off the swing.
And I remember my big sister talking to me about I need to do better, and not be so selfish. And that’s when I understood selfish. I said okay. I don’t know when the change happened, but I do believe the change happened.
The Jackson Community House was built in 1853 by Jefferson Franklin Jackson and his home was built to entertain. It’s an elegant antebellum home and in 1943, the house was given a new life with Montgomery Colored Federated Women’s Club. Their primary function was to give to the community by working with the youth.
The club activities, meetings, teas, debutante balls, cotillions, weddings…that’s what the home was used for. I personally remember several teas taking place with these fabulous hats the ladies wore. I remember how beautiful the building was. And then the breeze that would come in from the veranda.
They had a place where you could bring items to collect for needy families and that was very powerful.
1948 is when the first library for blacks was started in this building. My Aunt Bertha was the start of that library.
The Women’s Political Council got its start here. They later were involved with organizing for the bus boycott my aunt Bertha was one of the founding members. The library moved from the Community House to its own building on Cleveland Avenue. It is now renamed as the Rosa Parks-Bertha Williams Library.
I see the use of this building to continue to serve the community and focus on our youth. The children are a percentage of our population, but they’re 100% of the future.
We are racially diversified in Montgomery and I believe in the next five years we will aid the youth of different cultures. And breathe life into this building again.