The Jackson House

Opening 2026 in Greenfield Village

The Jackson House: A Symbol of Courage and Strategy

The Jackson House, now more than 100 years old, is a unique time capsule documenting one of the most momentous movements in U.S. history: the Selma to Montgomery marches, a sustained effort to ensure that all Americans would have the civil rights and voting rights promised to them.

The Jackson House is one of several important landmarks of Selma's role in the Long Civil Rights Movement. Dr. Sullivan Jackson and Mrs. Richie Jean Sherrod opened their home to close friend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and his allies in Dallas County and nationally as a place to rest and strategize the path forward to secure voting rights for African Americans. Voting rights had already been a major focus for local movement leaders like Amelia Boynton, Rev. Dr. Frederick D. Reese, and the Dallas County Voters League, who had been organizing around the issue for decades. National groups like the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee and later King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference helped to bring international attention to Selma and the effort to register Black voters. From this home multiple aspects of the Selma Voting Rights Movement were planned, including the Selma to Montgomery March after the murder of Jimmie Lee Jackson in February 1965. Hundreds of people came through the home, including several Nobel Peace Prize winners, international dignitaries, media representatives, and activists and supporters of Civil Rights for all. This activism led to the passing of the Voting Rights Act in June 1965.

Major Points in The Long Civil Rights Movement up to 1965

  • 1954: Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, KS
  • 1955: Montgomery, AL Bus Boycott
  • 1957: Integration of Little Rock Central High School
  • 1960: Greensboro Four and the Woolworth Sit-ins
  • 1961: Freedom Rides throughout the South begin
  • 1963: Birmingham Campaign and the Children's Crusade
  • 1963: March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom
  • 1964: Civil Rights Act of 1964

Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, Chairman of the Detroit Branch NAACP and Member of the NAACP National Board of Directors

"The Henry Ford is magnifying not just Dr. King’s dream to show where he actually laid out a plan to inspire future generations to continue their march towards justice, voting rights, and civil rights. This move is more than the preservation of a house showing where Dr. King worked and strategized. It is the continuation of a movement demonstrating very clearly that the determination of a people can never be marginalized."

-Rev. Dr. Wendell Anthony, Chairman of the Detroit Branch NAACP and Member of the NAACP National Board of Directors

In This House

The Jackson House and its contents are a remarkable fusion of the ordinary and the epic: A maple dining table — around which civil rights leaders, U.S. congressmen, and two Nobel Peace Prize winners broke bread and shared dreams. An upholstered armchair facing a black-and-white television — the chair where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. sat as he watched President Lyndon Johnson pledge to pass voting rights legislation. A bed with a pair of pajamas atop the covers — the bed and pajamas in which King spent many nights during the Selma to Montgomery marches.

In this house, people will learn how a committed group of idealists — some famous, some obscure — worked together to advance American principles and bring liberty, justice, and rights within the reach of all Americans. Their struggles, and their successes, are a powerful part of America's story.

Here, behind a humble façade, world-changing ideas, plans, and actions charged the air with hope:

  • In this house Dr. Sullivan Jackson and his wife Richie Jean provided a safe haven for the nation's leading civil rights activists to strategize and plan.
  • This house is one of several places where the Selma movement was planned. This home was central to the Southern Christian Leadership Council/MLK planning.
  • In this house Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., worked and slept and strategized, along with key allies, for months before the Montgomery march.
  • In this house King frequently spoke by phone with President Lyndon Johnson about the need to expand and protect Black voting rights through national legislation.
  • In this house King and others watched, electrified, as President Johnson made a nationally televised address to Congress introducing the Voting Rights Act of 1965, proclaiming “We shall overcome.”
  • In this house, the only known meeting between the first and second Black men to receive the Nobel Peace Prize took place. Ralph Bunche and Dr. King.
  • This house was home to several generations of Black dentists, teachers, and professionals, who used their connections and success to build up the Black community of Selma.

Bringing the Jackson House to Greenfield Village

In 2023, The Henry Ford acquired the Jackson House from the home's owner, Jawana Jackson, who asked The Henry Ford to acquire, relocate, and elevate this historic house, giving it an enduring home in Greenfield Village. Jawana Jackson and The Henry Ford share a vision of preserving and sharing the legacy of this house — seeking to raise its profile and bring it to the attention of new audiences across the nation and around the world — and to share its inspiring stories, bringing the past forward and helping shape a brighter future for generations to come. Moving the Jackson House from Selma, Alabama, to Greenfield Village will be a multi-year effort for Henry Ford.

Jawana Jackson, daughter of Dr. Sullivan Jackson and Mrs. Richie Jean Sherrod

"I am honored to partner with The Henry Ford to enhance the visitor experience with the addition of the Jackson House at Greenfield Village. This historic private residence will now be included among other nationally significant homes and artifacts which represent America's commitment to justice, peace and freedom for all."

-Jawana Jackson, daughter of Dr. Sullivan Jackson and Mrs. Richie Jean Sherrod

In Fall of 2023, the contents of the home were carefully removed for conservation, and the structure was taken apart and loaded onto trailers to make the monumental 1,060-mile move to Michigan.

In 2024, The Henry Ford team will begin placing the house in Greenfield Village which requires preparing a site, laying a new foundation, positioning and reassembling the house, replacing the roof, repairing floors and walls, connecting electrical and plumbing systems, installing central heating and air-conditioning, and adding fire protection and security systems.

The house will join the village's Porches & Parlors district. It will be located on Maple Lane between the George Washington Carver Memorial and the William Holmes McGuffey Birthplace.

As the home is relocated to its new permanent residence, The Henry Ford vows to create innovative programming, bringing this structure to life for in-person visitors and online learners around the world. For more information and future announcements regarding this initiative, sign up to receive emails from The Henry Ford, and follow us on our social media channels for more updates.

Community Support

The Hon. James Perkins Jr., Mayor of the City of Selma, Alabama

"I celebrate the Jackson family's contribution to the 1960s Voting Rights Movement and express appreciation to The Henry Ford for relocating this valuable asset to historic Greenfield Village in Dearborn, Michigan. My hope is that the Jackson family, The Henry Ford, the city of Selma and the nation, immensely benefit from this powerful preservation initiative."

-The Hon. James Perkins Jr., Mayor of the City of Selma, Alabama

The Hon. Jannie Thomas, Councilmember, City of Selma, Ward 7

"I've known the Sullivan Jackson family all my life. When Jawana confided in me about plans to move the historic Jackson House to The Henry Ford, I immediately supported her decision to preserve her home and its place in civil rights history. As the councilperson who represents the district of the historic Jackson House, I, along with Mayor James Perkins and Selma City Council, look forward to beginning a dialogue with The Henry Ford. We look forward to this exciting new chapter for the Jackson House."

-The Hon. Jannie Thomas, Councilmember, City of Selma, Ward 7

Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, MI-12th Congressional District

“We are honored to be able to host and preserve The Jackson House at Greenfield Village and share its incredible history at the heart of the civil rights movement with the world. I am so thankful for Ms. Jawana Jackson’s tireless efforts to secure the future of this home and for entrusting The Henry Ford to carry on its legacy. I've always said that Detroit is a city where movements are born, where you can find reminders of the fight for freedom and equality around every corner, and this addition to our community will be right at home. It's so critically important that we continue to educate people about the history of the civil rights movement, and I trust The Jackson House will inspire countless new leaders to continue fighting for the world we all deserve.”

-Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, MI-12th Congressional District

Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, MI-6th Congressional District

“As an internationally renowned American history complex and Michigan's leading cultural tourism destination, The Henry Ford is well positioned to preserve the Jackson Home within Greenfield Village and share its important stories with the world. Together with the Rosa Parks bus, already a part of the museum's collections, the Jackson Home will serve as a powerful platform for inspiring this and future generations with the stories of America's struggles for equal rights for all.”

-Congresswoman Debbie Dingell, MI-6th Congressional District

The Hon. Abdullah Hammoud, Mayor of the City of Dearborn, Michigan

“The city of Dearborn, Michigan, is blessed with many community assets. Among them is the State of Michigan's leading cultural tourism destination, The Henry Ford. For more than 90 years, it has drawn visitors from all 50 states and around the world to its National Historic Landmark campus. Its outdoor history complex, Greenfield Village, features 83 historic structures, all but one of which was brought to the site from a different point of origin. The Henry Ford has now been entrusted by its owner to take possession and bring to the Village the historic Jackson House from Selma, Alabama. Here, the House will benefit from The Henry Ford's resources that will protect its physical integrity in perpetuity and share its stories of the pivotal role it played in the civil rights movement of the 1960s with millions of in-person and virtual visitors.”

-The Hon. Abdullah Hammoud, Mayor of the City of Dearborn, Michigan

Laura Lott, Former President & CEO, American Alliance of Museums

"The Henry Ford has the expertise necessary to physically preserve the Jackson House and its artifacts and to share its powerful story. In my view, the Jackson House will be in excellent hands and will receive all of the care and attention this historically significant structure deserves."

-Laura Lott, Former President & CEO, American Alliance of Museums

Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, Ph.D., Director and Distinguished Professor at Cooperstown Graduate Program/SUNY Oneonta

"Not every historic building can be preserved in its original location and for this reason, so many important places are forever lost. Not so for the Jackson House that will find new life and meaning at The Henry Ford's Greenfield Village. The Jacksons are unsung heroes. Their generosity and courage show us how we, as ordinary Americans, can stand up against injustice and for the beloved community. The Henry Ford has taken a leadership role in broadening the history that museums can tell and enabling us all to envision a shared legacy that makes us stronger as a democratic nation of many diverse people."

-Gretchen Sullivan Sorin, Ph.D., Director and Distinguished Professor at Cooperstown Graduate Program/SUNY Oneonta and author of Driving While Black: African American Travel and the Road to Civil Rights

Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

"It is imperative that places of historic importance marking the contributions of African Americans be restored and preserved. The Jackson House represents one such significant property, a structure steeped in history and culture. The Henry Ford's collaboration with Ms. Jawana Jackson represents a critical step in ensuring that this iconic American property is preserved and will be visited by millions of visitors."

-Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation

Neil Barclay, President of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

"The Henry Ford has been an exceptional steward of artifacts that tell our nation's stories of innovation, ingenuity and resourcefulness. Its unparalleled collections documenting the American experience preserve our shared history and inspire each of us to help create a better future. With its recent acquisition of the Jackson House, The Henry Ford will be able to present the story of its prominent role in the early days of the modern American civil rights movement and the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to millions of visitors."

-Neil Barclay, President of the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History

For more information regarding this acquisition, visit the press release.

Before one of the marches, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holds a strategy meeting in the back bedroom of the Jackson home. Source: Jet Magazine  

"The home of Dr. Sullivan Jackson and his wife Richie Jean recently pictured in its original location at 1416 Lapsley Ave., Selma, Alabama."  

“March 15th, 1965: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. watches Lyndon B. Johnson’s joint message to Congress on voting rights from the living room of the Jackson home.” Source: Life Magazine.  

Jawana Jackson, CEO of The Sullivan and Richie Jean Sherrod Jackson Foundation and Museum and steward of the Jackson House, stands in front of a picture of her parents -- friends of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.  

Photographer Peter Pettus captured scenes from the Selma to Montgomery marches in 1965. As a bystander not associated with the press, Pettus’ photographs captured a more intimate snapshot of the events & people involved. Source: Library of Congress