In her book ‘My Family’ Jacksons Katherine speaks about Michael’s birth:
My experience with Marlon and Brandon didn’t dissuade me from getting pregnant again. The following year August 29, I gave birth to another boy.
I remember that day well because my water broke while my neighbor Mildred White and I were driving over to see the new grammar school under construction, Garnett Elementary.
“Oh, my God, Mildred, I can’t sit in your car like this!” I exclaimed.
“Girl, don’t worry about it,” Mildred said, turning the car around.
At my request Mildred drove me home. I called my mother and she and my stepfather drove me to Mercy Hospital.
Shortly after I got there, I began having contractions. Later that night, my son was born.
“I want to name him,” my mother said. I hated her first suggestion: Ronald.
“How about Roy, then?”
“Oh, my gosh, Mama, no.”
She thought for a little while. “I’ve got it - Michael.”
“That’s it,” I said.
By then I was used to seeing my babies born with funny looking heads, so I wasn’t alarmed by Michael’s. The two other things I remember about him as I held him in my arms for the first time were his big brown eyes and his long hands, which reminded me of my father-in-law’s.
“I bet I was an accident!” Michael has teased. He wasn’t, but after he was born, I did decide to take a break from childbearing - after eight births in eight years I felt I deserved one - and go to work part-time as a sales clerk at Sears. Randy, our next child, didn’t arrive for another three years, on October 31, 1961. Almost five more years elapsed before I gave birth to Janet, on August 16, 1966.
One reason why Joe and I went ahead and had Randy and Janet is the enjoyment the older children got out of having other babies to fuss over.
“We have so many kids - why do we love having another?” I’d ask my older children. Most kids, I thought, didn’t appreciate the extra competition for their parents ‘ attention. “We just love babies,” they’d reply.
They really demonstrated that fact when Janet was born.
“I have a baby sister! I have a baby sister!” Michael shouted as he went running from door to door on Jackson street.