National Association of Colored FairsIn 1921, James A. Jackson (1878-1960) began his push for the establishment of the National Association of Colored Fairs. Jackson, born in Pennsylvania, had performed in minstrels and was a journalist and promoter. He believed that a national fair association would strengthen and financially benefit fair officials, park owners, theater owners and managers, and Black communities. Jackson also proposed that the national fair association be affiliated with the National Negro Business League.
As editor of the Negro Department of Billboard magazine, Jackson compiled the first directory of colored fairs, which included fairs in Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Missouri, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania. Colored fairs had been held in Kentucky since shortly after the end of the Civil War. In a 1922 Billboard editorial, Jackson gave attendance statistics for the major fairs.
The National Association of Colored Fairs was chartered at a meeting in Norfolk, VA, in 1922 as a subsidiary of the National Negro Business Men's League.
For more see "The National Association of Colored Fairs" in Pages from the Harlem Renaissance, by A. D. Hill. For more on James A. Jackson, see his entry in Encyclopedia.com.