Living Black History: 103-year-old man reflects on life - CBS46 News

Living Black History: 103-year-old man reflects on life

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Dosh Jackson Dosh Jackson
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

What would do if you could sit down and have a one-on-one with someone who's lived to be 103 years old?

At 103 years of age, Dosh Jackson is an eyewitness to history.

From the 1929 stock market crash to the injustice of the segregation, right up to the election of America's first African-American president, Jackson has lived through it all.

"Things got tough there in New York. I had to make to trips to Father Divine [bread line] to eat," said Jackson of the Great Depression.

Born Feb. 22, 1911, in Macon, GA, Jackson is the father of four children and has six grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.

Jackson credits his loving family to his late wife.

"My wife was a dedicated person," said Jackson. "I can say that she is one of the reasons why I'm 103 years old, because she took care of my kids and saw that I was taken care of."

Jackson told CBS Atlanta the key to living long is staying active. That means push-ups every morning, eating health foods, and challenging his mind by mastering the latest in gadgets like his iPhone and iPad.

"You know that's one secret to living. Don't smoke, eat good food and treat your brother right," Jackson said.

But life for Jackson, to quote the late poet Langston Hughes, "Ain't been no crystal stairway." It's had hard tacks and splinters, such as the time Jackson had fight for his job promotion at the post office.

Jackson confronted the then postmaster after scoring 19th out of about 100 applicants for the position of clerk.

He was only offered a mail carrier post.

"I told him nah [no] I took for clerk and that he couldn't satisfy me like that. A week later he sent me a letter of appointment," Jackson explained.

That dogged persistence is deeply rooted in Jackson's beloved Omega Psi Phi Fraternity.

For Jackson, the organization's cardinal principles of manhood, scholarship, perseverance and uplift have shaped his life.

"I put a lot of emphasis on manhood, I put a lot of emphasis on scholarship, but you have to have the uplift to maintain that," Jackson concluded.

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