Jesse Jackson, one of the tenacious and vocal political personalities in the USA, is renowned for his fight against racism in the country. He had been exposed to the hardships that many African-Americans faced when attempting to live a regular life ever since he started high school. As a result, he got involved in numerous civil rights campaigns from an early age, winning the approval of Martin Luther King Jr. He organized a number of marches and took part in other campaigns to promote equality and put an end to racial prejudice. He quickly rose to prominence among African-Americans as a key figure in the struggle against racial injustice. He was even seen as Martin Luther King Jr.’s successor, but due to some controversies, he was expelled from King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). In addition to promoting equal rights for African-Americans, Jackson supported a number of international causes. He has been a fierce opponent of abortion and a tireless opponent of drug misuse.
Early Childhood & Life
Helen Burns, who was just 16 at the time of Jesse Jackson’s birth, gave birth to him. Noah Louis Robinson, a 33-year-old married former professional boxer, was his biological father. Charles Henry Jackson adopted Helen’s son and gave him his last name after they got married.
Jesse attended Greenville’s Sterling High School, which was exclusively for African-American students, and graduated in 1959. After winning a scholarship, he enrolled at the University of Illinois, but after his second semester there in 1960, he changed schools to North Carolina A&T.
He earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from North Carolina A&T in 1964 and then enrolled on scholarship at the Chicago Theological Seminary.
He actively participated in various civil rights demonstrations while attending North Carolina A&T, and he continued to do so while attending Chicago Theological Seminary. He left school to devote himself entirely to the civil rights fight.
Career of Jesse Jackson
He was named the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), a civil rights group for African Americans founded by Martin Luther King Jr., in 1966.
He was named the group’s national director in 1967, and throughout his tenure, protesters boycotted merchandise in an effort to pressure business owners to recruit African-Americans.
However, some of the organization’s members did not like his excitement. Even Martin Luther King Jr. found the young activist’s arrogance to be a touch irritating.
The Chicago church ordained Jackson as a Baptist minister in 1968.
Jackson ran into difficulties in 1968, following King’s murder, for embellishing the event. Jackson was not even present at the exact location of the killing, but he told the reporters that King died in his arms and that he was the last person King spoke to before passing away.
His comments infuriated people, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) suspended him before he quit in 1971. He founded the “People United to Save Humanity” (PUSH) organization in Chicago after resigning.
Jackson was at this point becoming more and more interested in national politics. In 1979, he visited South Africa and delivered a speech there criticizing apartheid. Additionally, he traveled to the Middle East to express his support for the establishment of a Palestinian state.
In 1984, he established the “National Rainbow Coalition” with the goal of securing equal rights for women, homosexuals, and African-Americans. During the same year, he ran for president. He was the third Democratic contender to receive the most votes, even though he did not win.
In 1988, he ran again for president but lost to Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis. He then decided to end his presidential campaign.
He persisted in fighting for African Americans’ rights and equality, and in 1990 he was chosen to serve as the District of Columbia’s shadow senator.
The National Rainbow Coalition and PUSH, two of his organizations, joined to become the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition in 1996.
In 1999, Jackson found himself embroiled in yet another scandal after attempting to defend six Decatur, Illinois high school students who had been expelled for fighting. He made an attempt to persuade the board to accept the pupils back, but the board just refused. He organized a protest there in response, which resulted in his trespassing arrest.
In 2012, he openly supported Obama’s decision to accept homosexual marriages. He is still involved in social and political issues.
Bigger Works of Jesse Jackson
His group, PUSH (People United to Save Humanity), which later joined with another organization, the “National Rainbow Coalition,” promotes economic and political power sharing in America and aims to build social equality.
PUSH also started an anti-abortion campaign and backed the pro-life movement in the US, which maintains that a human fetus is a (living) person with a right to life.
After Shirley Anita St. Hill Chisholm, he was the second African-American Democrat to run for president.
Recognition & Achievements
He received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2000 for his social and political involvement, which is the nation’s highest civilian honor.
Jackson was listed among the “100 Greatest African-Americans” by the academic, historian, and philosopher Molefi Kete Asante in 2002.
Personal Legacy & Life
He married Jacqueline Lavinia Brown on December 31, 1962, and the two are the parents of five kids.
It was discovered in 2001 that he had an extramarital relationship with writer and academic Karin L. Stanford, with whom he had a daughter and who he was supporting with $4,000 per month.
Jesse Jackson’s Net Worth
Jesse Jackson is a Baptist clergyman and civil rights leader from the United States. His estimated net worth is $9 million. Jackson founded the civil rights group Rainbow/PUSH and is a well-known civil rights activist and shadow senator for the US.
This well-known African-American political leader turned down a Major League Baseball contract offer from the Chicago White Sox while still in high school in favor of a football scholarship from the University of Illinois.
During a pause in an interview with the top news network Fox News, an African-American once disparaged presidential contender Barack Obama while not aware the microphone was on.