TAMPA BAY - The Tampa Bay Lightning honored the Jackson Family as the 43rd Lightning Community Heroes of the season during the first period of today's game against the Detroit Red Wings. The Jackson's, who received a $50,000 donation from the Lightning Foundation and the Lightning Community Heroes program, will donate the money to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).
In the early 1900's, the Jackson Family opened and operated a boarding house in Tampa known as the Jackson House. It served to lodge African American travelers whether they were servicemen, railroad workers and passengers, entertainers or transients. The Jackson House has hosted numerous historical figures including Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Duke Ella Fitzgerald and Ray Charles, as well as many others. During an era of segregation, it provided the African American community with a cohesive atmosphere to withstand the time period.
The Jackson House is still standing in Tampa after over a century and has been passed down and operated by several generations of the Jackson Family who strive to preserve the legacy of the Jackson House as a symbol of economic freedom and resilience for the African American community.
Difficult circumstances have resulted in an uncertain future with the house needing stabilization funding and ultimately a renovation. Inspired by the idea of this unique home and it's landmark symbol for Tampa's African American community, the Lightning Foundation is proud to donate $50,000 to the Jackson Family's designated organization, the NAACP, to help stabilize the home and enable leaders to plan for the Jackson House's future.