(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Jesse Jackson 1908–

Black American young adult novelist and biographer. Jackson utilizes his own cultural heritage in his novels about black teenagers growing up in America. Call Me Charley, published in 1945, was one of the first young adult books to deal openly with racial prejudice. Although Jackson's treatment of the black-white confrontation in this novel seems dated today, he was a pioneer in treating this subject matter realistically and his work retains historical significance. In this work and in his subsequent fiction, Jackson writes simply and eloquently of the universal problems and joys of adolescence while also considering the more specialized problems of the black ghetto teenager. (See also Contemporary Authors, Vols. 25-28, rev. ed., and Something about the Author, Vol. 2.)