Gloria Anne Jackson (above, left), Madeliene Jackson-Smith (center) and Bennie J Rivers grew up in what they describe as a loving and blessed family of ten children. “Bless my children, and my children’s children”. -That is the prayer that their father, a preacher, would utter every Sunday morning over breakfast and it is a prayer that is being passed down through generations in this family. The sisters’ father, although very loving, was rather strict and austere. Their mother, however, would compensate a lot for this by allowing, for example, her children to dance the twist at home and even joining in.
It was revealed that Gloria, in particular, loved dancing. Indeed, as the sisters talked about attending Ebenezer Baptist Church and recalled their relationship with the King family, Gloria shared a long kept secret…
Desperate to obtain a tuxedo for her escort to a dance event, Gloria was able to put two and two together very fast: Her sister was babysitting again for the King family that evening, Martin Luther King Jr was out of town and he most definitely owned a tuxedo that would fit her escort… The rest is history, history that StoryCorps has enabled the sisters to shed a spotlight on!
Below, the three sisters chat with NBC news reporter Martin Savidge.