Mary Jackson is a basket maker who lives in Charleston, SC with her husband, Stoney. She makes sweetgrass baskets that come out of a tradition that has been passed down from her ancestors. It originated in West Africa, and brought to America by slaves.
This kind of basket making is an identifying cultural practice for people who were cut off from their own history, and has been a part of Charleston and Mt. Pleasant communities for more than 300 years. Jackson uses sweetgrass, palmetto, pine needles, and bulrush in her work, which is innovative, but always mindful of its past. Her baskets are represented in many collections including the Museum of Arts and Design (formerly America Craft Museum), White House Collection of American Crafts, Museum of Fine Arts Boston, and Museum of African American History, Detroit.