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Visit the following link to hear Mrs. Jackson talk about her curriculum and book:

 Re-printed - courtesy of the Terrell Tribune - Terrell, Texas

Burnett graduate pens book, stage play about princess

Ida Malone Jackson wrote "Princess Brandan" to give children a different type of tale.

She is fine tuning a script and hoping to move the princess closer to the stage.

By Tricia Scruggs

Published: Monday, June 29, 2009 12:12 PM CDT

When Ida Malone Jackson grew tired of seeing fairy tale characters who didn't look like her, she decided to couple her teacher's heart and creative story-telling abilities to pen "Princess Brandan."

The unique account of the beautiful, brown-skinned princess has been well-received by readers, prompting Jackson to adapt the book into a stage play for which she is busy securing support.

"I love the book," Jackson said, explaining that while she enjoyed Snow White and Cinderella as a child, she wanted to expose children to a different type of royalty. "I didn't care what color they were. Princess Brandan also appeals to every young lady. I don't mention that she's African-American... any little girl can be Princess Brandan and that's what I want them to feel."

After praying for a story line, Jackson said she sat down one day with a legal pad and wrote the book, from beginning to end. Jackson has since packaged a literary unit, which includes a student workbook, and teacher's edition.

The plot chronicles Princess Brandan's desire to dance, though she's interested in education, too. It's also about the search for her mother who has disappeared from the castle. Along the way, she encounters an evil sorceress, a critical moment along the journey to find the queen.

"She wanted to dance and her mother also wanted to dance, but there are so many other levels [to the character]," Jackson said.

In her quest to fund the play, Jackson said she has reached out to a major children's entertainment company and tried to enlist the help of another successful Terrell native. Neither opted to take on the project, but Jackson is undeterred and hopes continued networking and book sales will continue to move Princess Brandan closer to the stage.

"After that, I'm hoping someone will pick it up and say 'well, let's make this a movie,'" Jackson said. "Hopefully it will do what it's intended to do, which is help children develop good, strong, moral character."

But that's not the end of the story for Jackson's educational endeavors.

Her vision is to use revenue generated from the anticipated success of Princess Brandan to operate storefront training centers, open to youth in neighborhoods everywhere.

"I didn't grow up with a silver spoon in my mouth," Jackson said.
"We weren't rich, but we didn't know we were poor because our parents provided for us. We had food, shelter and clothes. We had the best of life because we had people who loved us - a lot."

She said working in cotton fields for $5-$6 a day confirmed for her that she was definitely heading to college after graduating from Terrell's Burnett High School in 1968. She then graduated from Paul Quinn College in 1972 with a major in elementary education and a minor in history.

"That cotton field taught me that I definitely needed to strive for higher," Jackson said, explaining that her goal is to give back to the community that helped shape and mold her. "I'm doing that through books and role modeling. I want young people to strive for the best things in life, and that's what Princess Brandan is about."

Jackson said she spent years as an educator with Dallas ISD and nearly 20 decades in training with the North Central Texas Council of Governments before dedicating herself full-time to R.O.O.T.S., Rearing Our
Own To Succeed, a 501(c)3 training center that provides classes, technology curriculum and other classroom aids.

"It's not about the money for me," Jackson said. "It's about seeing the positive light go off in a young person's head. I believe in nurturing young people and showing
them genuine love and respect and giving them an opportunity to succeed in life.


Reader Comments

he following are comments from the readers. In no way do they represent the view of

Ida Malone Jackson wrote on June 29, 2009 2:01 PM:

"Thank you for the wonderful article. I truly believe in this story and the reporter, Miss Scruggs, captured the true essence of my story. Thank you again for sharing my story with the people of Terrell who made a difference in how I saw the world as a student, how I reacted to the world as a Christian, and how I live in this world as a responsible and caring adult. Ida Malone Jackson "

Dr. Lorrie Richardson-O'Neal wrote on Jun 30, 2009 8:59 AM: " Great article about a great person and her vision - destined for greatness. "

Minister Juan Weekly wrote on Jun 30, 2009 12:42 PM:" The story about Sister Jackson's book Princess Brandan is a wonderful article and I'm glad someone's taking interest in a story like that. We need more character buliding stories for our children because the" family fabric" has definitely been diminished. I thank God for you atricle but even more for this beautifl woman who's heart is in the right place. I hope and pray that she finds all the support she needs to make her mission accomplished. "