Michigan Center for Urban African American Aging Research
Junior Faculty RFAs
James S. Jackson and the Program for Research on Black Americans: Contributions to Psychology and the Social Sciences
James S. Jackson (1944–2020) is remembered as a groundbreaking social psychologist whose career contributions in scholarship, research, and service were fundamental to the field of psychology. This article briefly outlines his career-long work and contributions. A strong believer in interdisciplinary work, his research spanned other related social science disciplines (e.g., sociology, political science), as well as health and social welfare professions (public health, social work, medicine). As the founding director of the Program for Research on Black Americans at the Institute for Social Research, James Jackson initiated and led a long-standing program with a dual focus on research and training and mentoring doctoral students, postdoctoral scholars, and early career scientists. Jackson’s efforts in the development of several nationally representative surveys of the Black population in the United States (e.g., National Survey of Black Americans, National Survey of American Life) revolutionized research focusing on the lives of Black Americans. James Jackson’s international influence and reputation included numerous prestigious positions within national science organizations and honors and awards for his scientific contributions. Among James S. Jackson’s most enduring legacies is the vast network of current scientists, researchers, and academics who were trained under his direction and leadership.
Chatters, L. M., Taylor, R. J., Neighbors, H. W., Bowman, P. J., Williams, D. R., Mezuk, B., & Caldwell, C. (2023). James S. Jackson and the program for research on Black Americans: Contributions to psychology and the social sciences. American Psychologist, 78(4), 413–427. https://doi.org/10.1037/amp0001067