Dr. Alvin Jackson
For the Digital Archive Project, Dr. Alvin Jackson, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Willow Hill Heritage and Renaissance Center, loaned a total of twenty-two tapes. Since the mid-1980s, Dr. Jackson has been collecting these interviews in order to document the history of the Willow Hill School and the surrounding community. All subjects interviewed were either educators or students of the school, and in some cases, encompassed both roles.
Jackson is a native of the Willow Hill Community, in Bulloch County, Georgia, and attended Willow Hill as a student. Currently, he resides in Fremont, Ohio, where he practices medicine. He has previously served as the Director of the Ohio Department of Health, a member of the Board of Directors of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials and several medical advisory boards in the state of Ohio. In 2009, Jackson was invited to the White House to meet with President Barack Obama to discuss health care changes. He has received numerous awards for his work in medicine, including the 2005 Peacemaker Award from Tiffin-Fostoria Community Celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
One of the driving factors for Jackson’s interviews is the need to preserve the history of the area. Along with this, he strives to make this history available through the conversion of the school into a museum. In addition to the numerous hours of interviews, Jackson has also compiled a registry of 7,600 black residents in Bulloch County. This registry is to aid in the genealogical research of those in the area.
When speaking of his work with local elders, Jackson says, “Our goal is, while these seniors are living, to document as much about the history as possible about the school. We have key information but we know there’s other information we don’t have…Sometimes when you’re in the middle of history, you don’t comprehend the impact you have. Those slaves couldn’t read or write, yet gave education to their children. And we are the products of that.”
 Savannah Morning News. “Whatever It Takes, Get the School.” November 5, 2005, accessed May 1, 2013. http://savannahnow.com/stories/110505/3410639.shtml
Mary Landers. “Once a Have for Freed Slave, A School Rejuvenates.” Savannah Morning News. September 1, 2007, accessed May 1, 2013. http://savannahnow.com/coastal-empire/2007-08-31/once-haven-freed-slaves-school-rejuvenates#.U1qHz_ldV8E
Last updated: 3/30/2022