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February 27, 2014

Jackson's victory over can't

CHICKASHA —

From a young age, it was instilled in Loretta Y. Jackson, that she could do anything she set her mind to. 

Jackson was the youngest of seven children of Lillie Bell "Curry" Blunt and Clarence Blunt. The Blunt household was not home to self-doubt. 

When Jackson would say "I can't," her mother would respond, "I killed can't–so yes you can." 

"Can't" hasn't been safe since. 

Jackson is a wearer of many hats: guest speaker, facilitator, author, instructor, moderator, documentarian, coordinator, orator, member of many boards and organizations and often, dispenser of hope. 

The multifaceted, near octogenarian, Native Oklahoman is well-traveled. Jackson has been to 40 of the 50 United States including Hawaii as well as visited Germany, Austria and Canada.

Renowned for her rescue and preservation of a one-room school built in 1910, the Verden Separate School, Jackson is more than a preserver of history.  She is as familiar with oversized ribbon-cutting scissors as she is with gold groundbreaking shovels.

Jackson's contributions are recognized across political, social, economic and educational lines and she has volunteered tens of thousands of hours. 

One need not look far–in distance or time–to see Jackson's contributions. 

Earlier this month, on Feb. 15, Jackson coordinated the annual "Storytelling and Soul Food Event" which celebrates the contributions of African Americans in Chickasha and Grady County. The 2014 fifth annual event was entitled "Chickasha's New Lincoln School Dedication Program (1937)." The event included a reenactment of the school's dedication through speeches from current Chickasha School Board members as well as songs from the original dedication performed by the Langston University Choir. 

During the soul food meal, guests enjoyed a video presentation comprised of film clips of former Lincoln students recalling memories of the school that ranged from poignant to humorous. It was touching how many of the former students remembered the names of the teachers who impacted their lives. 

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