Jesse Jackson Childhood
A civil rights activist, a reverend, a Presidential candidate, a politician, a father and a husband, America’s Living Leader, the unifier and conscience of the American people, the Jesse Jackson is all that and more. His cause had brought about great changes that will be written in America’s history. Who would not be curious as to how a great personality such as Jesse Jackson came into this world.
As a son conceived out of wedlock, Jesse Jackson mother Helen Burns Straggs gave birth to her son Jesse Louis Burns when she was sixteen at Greenville, South Carolina on October 18, 1941. His father was Noah Robinson, his mother’s neighbor who also was a boxer and a prominent figure in the community at that time. Jesse Jackson father did not try to be a father to him as he was a married man when Helen bore him. Noah died in 1997. Jesse’s mother married Charles Henry Jackson when Jesse Jackson was two and later, when the reverend was sixteen years old, adopted Jesse. Jesse Jackson since then used his stepfather’s surname.
Jesse Jackson learned early in his life how it is to be discriminated. He was often referred to by some kids as “Nobody with no daddy” which made the young reverend felt injustice. Fortunately, the reverend’s Aunt Tibby was there to advice the young Jesse Jackson to not let bad situation break his spirit. Jesse Jackson developed his ability to speak in public through his biological grandfather Reverend Jesse Robinson. He often spoke at the Baptist church where his grandfather founded.
Jesse Jackson attended a segregated high school in Greenville the Sterling High School. Jesse Jackson later finished high school tenth in his class. He was an athlete and had earned a scholarship and decided to attend to University of Illinois over an offer to be on a professional baseball team. He had thought that the University will offer an equal treatment on both white and black. Jesse Jackson was badly disappointed as he was unjustly treated as he was unable to play as he should have and join contests due to the rampant discrimination at the school. This was why a year later he decided to transfer to Greensboro’s North Carolina A&T school for African American.
It was in college when Jesse Jackson found his passion in fighting for equality. He became student body president and later, as a senior, became a civil rights movement leader. The reverend Jesse Jackson youth was filled with racial injustice success stories. When he worked in a bakery where white workers have higher wages than the black worker, Jesse Jackson set up a protest that later on resulted to equal pay for both black and white workers. When Jesse Jackson graduated in his BS in Sociology and Economics in 1964, his activist movements did not stop at school. Jesse Jackson pursued his civil rights advocacy for equality even when he attended Chicago Theological Seminary. And even when he was ordained as the Reverend Jesse Jackson, his civil rights movement grew which later on landed him in the politics. As a man who had experienced firsthand demonstration of racism, Jesse Jackson pushed and pushed until his voice was heard.
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