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This inscription reads: “To Dear Mammy Prentiss With best Love from one Who loves you well. The Post plans to re-release the series involving Jack London and Jennie Prentiss in upcoming issues during the Black History and Women’s History month’s editions.
Your son, Jack” In 1906, Jack purchased a home for Jennie Prentiss located at 490 – 27th St. She was 74 years of age and she became a well-known figure within the Bay Area’s African American community, both as a midwife and community leader in various organizations, such as the Federated Negro Woman’s Club, which hosted such luminaries as Booker T. Jack London’s last will and testament, signed in 1911, memorialized his love for Jennie Prentiss by providing her with an income for life and money for her funeral expenses. Added festivities are planned this month for Jack London by Anna Lee Allen of the Oakland Tribune, The Oakland Post and the Oakland Heritage Alliance.
And as has happened with each update, a few of them finally moved on to production, and have premiere dates set (those I removed from the list, like Nate Parker’s Nat Turner film, which premieres at the Sundance Film Festival next month, as well as Don Cheadle’s Miles Davis project, which already premiered, and is set for a USA theatrical run starting next spring).
And there are others that have seen some movement since my last update.
Or maybe even select a single interesting week, or a day in that person’s life, and tell us about it.
Jennie was a Black woman who saved Jack London’s life at birth, breast-fed him, gave him the name Jack (which was originally John); lent Jack money when he was broke and helped him become the first American author to make a million dollars.And to fulfill this dream, he turned again to Jennie Prentiss for financial assistance. Prentiss gave Jack 0 in twenty-dollar gold pieces with which to buy a secondhand sloop called the Razzle Dazzle from an oyster pirate named French Frank.He wrote: “So I interviewed my Mammy Jennie, my old nurse at whose black breast I had sucked. On May 11, 1903, London signed a copy of his book “The God of his Fathers and Other Stories” (1901) for Prentiss.Some people claim Jack London was a “bigot” because of a highly publicized turn-of-the-century boxing match between Jack Johnson and Jim Jefferies in Reno, Nevada.London had been hired to write for the loser known as the “The Great White Hope.” By growing up in a Black family household, Jack often fought racist whites and his classmates who called him a “N—-lover,” which caused him to use fisticuffs as a means of “defensive violence” early in life.