Women in History
Vernice Jackson as Josephine Baker
Vernice S. Jackson is the President of the Board of Directors and Managing Director of Women In History. She has guided and watched WIH grow since its inception in 1991. Her current portrayals include Josephine Baker, an African American international star, civil rights activist and WWII heroine; Mary Elizabeth Bowser, a Union spy in the Confederate Whitehouse; Sally Hemings, who sacrificed her freedom from slavery for the love of President Thomas Jefferson; Harriet Tubman, the Underground Railroad conductor, army scout, and suffragist; Madame C.J. Walker, an entrepreneur, millionaire and philanthropist; and Josephine Wilson Bruce, the first African American teacher in the Cleveland Public Schools and a founder of the National Association of Colored Women.
Ms. Jackson has found her experience with WIH quite extraordinary. “Each time I step into a costume, I open the door to the past and enable my character’s voice to be heard once again. I take pride in presenting details about her life and times that few people are aware of. I want my audience to know the woman as well as her historical contribution.” Ms Jackson’s favorite character is Josephine Baker because “she was a free spirit, who successfully reinvented herself over and over again. Obstacles were a temporary evil. She overcame poverty, lack of formal education, illnesses and racial discrimination. She was a true survivor.”
Ms. Jackson holds a BA in Communications from Baldwin-Wallace College and a Master of Science in Organizational Development and Analysis from Case Western Reserve University. She is an organizational development consultant, running her own practice, Match Method Solutions. She actively mentors students as they transition from college into business and engineering professions. Ms. Jackson has been a civic volunteer in the Cleveland community for many years. She is the proud mother of two daughters, one son, and “Grandma Niece” to two girls and a boy.
Memorable Women in History Moments
“Researching these historical women is like searching for buried treasure.
Each time I discover something new about one of my characters, I feel like
I have discovered gold. Several years ago, I met with Sister Mary Rose
Krupp, the archivist at Ursuline Convent in Toledo, Ohio. Stagecoach Mary
Fields worked for the convent in the 1800’s. Sister Mary Rose provided
details concerning Stagecoach Mary’s life that never made it into the history
books. She even gave me an unpublished photograph of Mary. This treasure
is now shared on the Women In History website and available to the world.
This proves that history is not lost; it is just waiting to be rediscovered.”
Vernice Jackson as Josephine Baker:
See features on Vernice Simms Jackson and Women in History at "Portraitures of History," CWRU Magazine, Fall 2000 and "Recreating Strong Black Women," The Black Collegian Online.