James Jenkins


James Jenkins was among the first of four African Americans to integrate North Pike High School in Pike County, Mississippi in 1965. He was born in a small rural town in Pike County, Mississippi. He was the third of 8 siblings. Mr. James Jenkins grew up on a small farm in Pike County, on the outskirts of McComb. He attended Prentiss Institute, and Jackson State University, where he earned his Master's degree. Mr. Jenkins taught history and served in a variety of lead administrator roles in the McComb School District before retiring in 2020. At the time of this interview, Mr. Jenkins ran a large chicken farm in Summit, Mississippi.

Note: This interview follows a previous interview with James Jenkins conducted by students at McComb HIgh School in McComb, Mississippi 12-years earlier on March 11, 2010 as published on Telling Their Stories: Oral History Archives Project. Convent & Stuart Hall students frequently reference the earlier interview.

Zoom.us screen capture of James Jenkins, March 30, 2022.

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Date: March 30, 2022


  • Jacob Goodman, Stuart Hall High School, Class of 2022

  • Daniel Hawkins-Collins, Stuart Hall High School, Class of 2022

  • Robert “Bo” Darwin, Stuart Hall High School, Class of 2022

  • Sage Gould, Convent High School, Class of 2022

  • Marco Schinella, Stuart Hall High School, Class of 2022

  • Finley Simon, Convent High School, Class of 2022

  • Jesse Steyer, Stuart Hall High School, Class of 2022

  • Jackson Jung, Stuart Hall High School, Class of 2022

  • Instructor: Howard Levin, Director of Educational Innovation

Support Team - Mississippi School of the Arts, Brookhaven, Mississippi

  • John Kelly Shelburne, Media Arts Instructor

  • Patrick Brown, Technology Coordinator

  • Avery Peagler, Principal

  • Instructor: Vickie Malone, Social Studies Instructor

Location: Recorded via Zoom teleconferencing system. Chude Pam Allen was at her home in San Francisco, California. The interview team was in their separate homes throughout the San Francisco Bay Area during the “shelter in place” order due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Duration: 94 min


Click image above to access video of the full interview.

The transcript and video can be opened independently to provide user control