Outdoor Ceremony: A Tribute to Calobe Jackson and Harrisburg's African American Heritage


September 20    
5:00 pm - 7:00 pm


Jackson Square
1000 N. 6th Street , Harrisburg, PA, 17102

Event Type

Map Unavailable

Please Join us for Historic Harrisburg Association’s

Outdoor Ceremony: A Tribute to Calobe Jackson and Harrisburg’s African American Heritage

The outdoor event will take place in the 1200 Block of N. 6th Street, which will be closed to traffic, with the Jackson Square buildings serving as the backdrop.  The Jackson House restaurant and its owner Dave Kegris are providing refreshments.  CDC and State Health regulations and Covid-19 precautions will be strictly enforced, for the safety and health of all attendees.  Masks will be required, except when consuming refreshments.  The ceremony honoring Calobe Jackson will be staged in front of the newly restored 1002 N. 6th Street, Calobe’s childhood home.

Mr. Jackson is a lifelong resident of Harrisburg whose roots run deep and whose knowledge of local and African-American history is virtually unsurpassed. His record of community service includes dozens of causes, organizations and accomplishments, all generously served with unwavering civility and optimism.

Born on Easter Sunday, 1930, in Harrisburg Hospital, he first lived at Aberdeen and Strawberry Alleys near Old City Hall, where his father, Calobe Jackson Sr. operated a barbershop and pool hall. In 1934, the family and the Jackson businesses relocated to 1002 N. Sixth Street, as the continuing Capitol expansion displaced the thriving African-American community in the Old Eighth Ward. Jack’s Barbershop, as it was known to lessen confusion with the adjacent Jackson Rooming House (owned by the equally prominent German Jackson family) is today being restored as part of the block-long revitalization project dubbed “Jackson Square.”

Educated at Boas Elementary School, Camp Curtin Jr. High, and William Penn High School “48, young Jackson studied two years at Lincoln University until being drafted into the Army in 1951, serving with an all-black battalion as engineer/surveyor. Upon discharge, he began a four-decade career with the Post Office, first at the old “Federal Square,” then at the “new” post office at 10th and Market, from which he retired in 1990.

Calobe’s community service over the past 30 years has been extensive. He served on the Harrisburg School Board from 1992 to 1999. In 2000 he served as a regional technician for the U.S. Census. In 2001 he was re-elected to the school board, subsequently being appointed by Mayor Stephen Reed to the school district Board of Control. During this period, he helped to establish the Math-Science Academy and the acclaimed “Sci Tech High” school. In 2004, he was appointed chair of the Board of Control, serving until 2010, when control reverted to the elected school board.

Jackson’s other positions included: Trustee of Harrisburg University, 2005 to 2010; 15 years as a Trustee of the Historical Society of Dauphin County; Harrisburg Planning Commission, 2000 to 2018 (where his fellow commissioners relied on his local knowledge, stating: “you know the history!”). He is a member and past Commander of the Ephraim Slaughter Post of the American Legion.

Sunday, September 20th, 5:00 PM

Historic Harrisburg Association will be hosting a unique outdoor event at “Jackson Square”, the multi-historic-building restoration project that is revitalizing key vestages of Harrisburg’s early 20th Century African American business corridor at Sixth and Boas Streets.

Reservations are required.  Virtual viewing will also be available.

For sponsorship, host committee and ticket information, contact the HHA office: 717-233-4646





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