Brown Girl Dreaming

Jack is Jacqueline’s father, after whom Jacqueline is named. Jack, who is from Ohio, dislikes the South because of the segregation and racism he experiences there. Mama and her children live with Jack in Ohio until Mama and Jack separate for good after a series of nasty fights. After that, Jacqueline does not see her father or hear from his side of the family.

Jack Quotes in Brown Girl Dreaming

The Brown Girl Dreaming quotes below are all either spoken by Jack or refer to Jack. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Nancy Paulsen Books edition of Brown Girl Dreaming published in 2014.
Part 1 Quotes

My birth certificate says: Female Negro
Mother: Mary Anne Irby, 22, Negro
Father: Jack Austin Woodson, 25, Negro

Related Characters: Jacqueline (speaker), Mama, Jack
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:

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Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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My time of birth wasn’t listed
on the certificate, then got lost again
amid other people’s bad memory.

Related Characters: Jacqueline (speaker), Mama, Jack, Grandma Grace
Page Number: 18
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupi

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

You can keep your South…
The way they treated us down there,
I got your mama out as quick as I could…
Told her there’s never gonna be a Woodson
that sits in the back of a bus.

Related Characters: Jack (speaker), Mama
Page Number: 29
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Part 5 Quotes

And all the worlds you are—
Ohio and Greenville
Woodson and Irby
Gunnar’s child and Jack’s daughter
Jehovah’s Witness and nonbeliever
listener and writer
Jackie and Jacqueline
gather into one world
called You
where You decide
what each world
and each story
and each ending
will finally be.

Related Characters: Jacqueline (speaker), Gunnar, Jack
Page Number: 319-320
Explanation and Analysis:

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit, sed do eiusmod tempor incididunt ut labore et dolore magna aliqua. Ut enim ad minim veniam, quis nostrud exercitation ullamco laboris nisi ut aliquip ex ea commodo consequat. Duis aute irure dolor in reprehenderit in voluptate velit esse cillum dolore eu fugiat nulla pariatur. Excepteur sint occaecat cupidatat non proident, sunt in culpa qui officia deserunt mollit anim id est laborum.

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Jack Character Timeline in Brown Girl Dreaming

The timeline below shows where the character Jack appears in Brown Girl Dreaming. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Part 1: i am born
Memory Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
a girl named jack. Jacqueline relates how her father wanted to name her “Jack,” his own name, rather than Jacqueline. Jacqueline’s mother (Mama) and her aunt, however, said it... (full context)
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
the woodsons of ohio. Jacqueline discusses the history of her family on Jack’s side, who believe they are the descendants of the relationship between Thomas Jefferson and Sally... (full context)
Memory Theme Icon
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
the ghosts of nelsonville house. In this poem, Jacqueline describes the ancestral home of Jack’s family, a big, white house in Nelsonville, where her father grew up. She describes the... (full context)
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
The North and The South Theme Icon
football dreams. Jacqueline discusses Jack’s youth playing football and his football scholarship to Ohio State. She describes how easy it... (full context)
Memory Theme Icon
...Mama remembers her birth in the afternoon and her father trying to arrive on time. Jack remembers her birth at night. Jacqueline feels that her birth has been lost in “other... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
...winterly migration to her home in South Carolina to visit her family. During this time, Jack usually stays in Ohio, but Jacqueline and her siblings go with their mother. She thinks... (full context)
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
The North and The South Theme Icon
journey. Meanwhile, Jack has no interest in the South, which he sees as a place rife with racist... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
night bus. Jack arrives in South Carolina to beg Mama’s forgiveness for the fight that made Mama take... (full context)
Racism, Activism, and the Civil Rights and Black Power Movements Theme Icon
The North and The South Theme Icon
...the trip back to Ohio. They pack food and clothes, Mama puts on lipstick, and Jack shaves. Then the family says goodbye to MaryAnn and Gunnar. They board the night bus... (full context)
The North and The South Theme Icon
...picture. She imagines what Mama looked like leaving him: proud and with her children, while Jack (whose skin reminds her of the “red dirt of the south”) waves goodbye. (full context)
Part 2: the stories of south carolina run like rivers
The North and The South Theme Icon
...due to his allergies in the warmer climate and his homesickness. This reminds Jacqueline of Jack saying, “you can keep your south.” Since moving to South Carolina, Hope has become withdrawn,... (full context)
Memory Theme Icon
The North and The South Theme Icon
...autumn chill, before acknowledging that it has been many years since she saw her father Jack. Hope tells her she is lucky she doesn’t remember how their parents used to fight.... (full context)
Part 3: followed the sky’s mirrored constellation to freedom
Language and Storytelling Theme Icon
...fatherless, the boy tells her his father died. Jacqueline admits that sometimes she lies about Jack and says he is dead. When Odella hears these tall tales, she shakes her head,... (full context)
Memory Theme Icon
The North and The South Theme Icon
...children have fallen out of touch with their family in Ohio, and their memories of Jack have faded. Through a friend, Mama learns that the children’s paternal grandfather, Grandfather Hope, has... (full context)
Part 4: deep in my heart i do believe
Memory Theme Icon
...likes playground games, and so she is called a “tomboy.” Her walk reminds Mama of Jack. (full context)