Jackson, Jesse 
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As a young man, Jesse Jackson believed that black religious leaders should embrace social activism. In 1965, he marched in Selma with Martin Luther King, Jr. and later dropped out of seminary to join King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). Jackson was with King the day he died (April 4, 1968).

In 1971, Jackson founded Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) to emphasize black self-help. In 1984, he founded the National Rainbow Coalition to promote equal rights for blacks, women and homosexuals.

Although Jackson failed to win the democratic presidential nomination twice (1983 and 1988), it was the furthest a black candidate got to winning the nomination at the time.

Although some criticize him as being anti-Semitic and opportunistic, others praise him for his civil rights work and for negotiating the release of Americans in Syria (1984), Iraq (1990), and Yugoslavia (1999). Jackson continues to be an enigma, but influential nonetheless.

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Race/Ethnicity and Religion
Baptist Religious Events and People in American History
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Race/Ethnicity and Religion in American History
Baptist Religious Events and People in American History
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Civil Rights Movement

Jesse Jackson portrait- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsc-01277

Jesse Jackson march for jobs- Library of Congress, LC-DIG-ppmsca-03420

Jesse Jackson portrait- National Archives and Records Administration

Jesse Jackson speaking- National Archives and Records Administration

Jesse Jackson speaking 2- National Archives and Records Administration
Book/Journal Source(s)
Murphy, Larry, J. Gordon Melton, and Gary Ward, 1993. Encyclopedia of African American Religions. New York: Garland.
Reid, Daniel, Robert Linder, Bruce Shelley, and Harry Stout, 1990. Dictionary of Christianity in America. Downers Grove, IL.
Web Source(s)
Jesse Jackson's Encyclopedia Britannica Biography
Web Page Contributor
Benjamin T. Gurrentz
Affliated with: Pennsylvania State University, Ph.D. in Sociology

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