Civil Rights Heroine
Lydia Flood Jackson (1862-1963) was born in California’s East Bay, near Oakland. Her family was prominent among the earliest settled African American families in the state. Her father Isaac Flood was a tradesman and laborer and her mother Elizabeth Thorn Scott was a school teacher credited with starting the first public school for African American students in California.
Alongside her father who was a member of the California Colored Convention Movement, she worked hard as a young woman to obtain civil rights and the right for education for African Americans. Her most noted efforts came through her involvement with various women’s organizations like Fanny Jackson Club and the Native Daughter’s Club.
A businesswoman whose cosmetic business manufactured perfumes, creams and toiletries was successful, she was also a political activist. She traveled to South America, Mexico, and other places to talk about her call for democracy. She urged women to fight against stereo typed roles that stunted their opportunities.
Her work opened the doors for those who followed. With a strong sense of self-worth and respect, she inspired others to support the suffrage movement.