- Ronald P. Dufour
Jackson, Mahalia (26 October 1911–27 January 1972), gospel singer, was born in New Orleans, the daughter of John Jackson, a dockworker, barber, and preacher, and Charity Clark, a maid. Her mother died when Jackson was five, and she moved in with her mother’s sister, Mahalia Paul, also known as Aunt Duke. She worked both for her aunt and for a local white family from an early age, and during the eighth grade (the last grade she attended before quitting school), she also worked as a laundress for five hours after school. She began to sing as a young child, particularly at the Mount Moriah Baptist Church, but she was also profoundly influenced by the ...