Jesse Jackson Facts

Jesse Jackson Facts
Jesse Jackson is an African-American politician, social activist, businessman, and preacher. His involvement in the civil rights movement during the 1960s catapulted him into the national spotlight and eventually alongside civil rights icons such as Martin Luther King Junior. Jackson was with King when he was assassinated in 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee. Beginning in the 1980s, Jackson entered mainstream politics and ran twice for president (1984 and 1988), but failed to win the Democrat Party's nomination. Jackson was born Jesse Louis Burns on October 8, 1941 in Greenville, South Carolina to Helen Burns and Noah Robinson. His father was married, which became the first of many controversies Jackson was involved in throughout his life. His mother later married Charles Henry Jackson, who adopted young Jesse and gave him his surname. Jackson was an athlete and good student in high school, earning an athletic scholarship at the University of Illinois, but he transferred to the historically black university North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University in Greensboro, North Carolina, which is where he was introduced to activism and the civil rights movement. He married his wife Jacqueline in 1962; the couple have five children and Jackson has another daughter with another woman.
Interesting Jesse Jackson Facts:
Jackson's first taste of activism came when he and seven other blacks did a "sit-in" at Greenville, South Carolina's public library to protest its segregation policies. He and the other became known as the "Greenville Eight."
He took part in the Selma to Montgomery marches of 1965, bringing him to the attention of leaders in the movement, such as Martin Luther King.
What impressed people about Jackson during the 1960s was his public speaking abilities, which he used to create a carefully crafted public profile and lucrative career.
In the photographs of Martin Luther King Junior's assassination, Jackson is seen pointing from the balcony of the Lorraine Motel toward where the shooter, James Earl Ray, fired the fatal shot.
The two most notable organizations that Jackson formed were the People United to Save Humanity (PUSH) (1971) and the Rainbow Coalition (1984). Both organizations advocated for liberal causes, such as more government housing, government funded job training, and the hiring of more minorities in the corporate world. The two organizations were merged in 1996 to form the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.
Jackson has invited controversy numerous times throughout his life, especially during the 1980s and 1990s. He met with Cuban dictator Fidel Castro, once referred to New York City as "hymie town," and his sons were given nice jobs with the Anheuser-Busch company after the PUSH coalition protested the company during the 1980s.
Jackson supports universal health care and the Equal Rights Amendment.
He served as a "shadow senator" for the District of Columbia from 1991 through 1997. Since the District of Columbia has no official representation in Congress, the position was largely ceremonial and upaid.


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