Rev. Jesse Jackson honored ahead of DNC by Congressional Black Caucus

Jackson ran for president in 1984 and 1988. 

The Congressional Black Caucus paid tribute to Rev. Jesse Jackson on Sunday night during a video conference. 

Black leaders joined the call where they lauded Jackson’s contributions to Black politics since the 1960s. 

“This man represents the greatest of what we have to offer to this nation,” said professor and author Dr. Michael Eric Dyson, “and the little we repay him tonight in token of his extraordinary service is the least we can do.”

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Jackson ran for president in 1984 and 1988. According to a press release on the RainbowPUSH Coalition Facebook page, “Rev. Jackson’s run for the presidency in 1984 and 1988 along with his national voter registration drives racked up millions of new voters that paved the way for scores of African Americans to win highly contested seats including governors, mayors, state, city, and county offices.” 

The iconic Black leader spent his birthday at the Cook County jail last year, where he had lunch with detainees, according to a report from the Chicago Crusader. “These visits remind me of the humanity of those who are in trouble and of the inhumanity, even idiocy, of our criminal justice system,” said Rev. Jackson.

He used the visit to highlight the fact that the U.S. continues to incarcerate a higher percentage of its population than other developed nations.

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In thanking the DNC’s Black Caucus for the honor, Jackson paid homage to his parents “whose quest for dignity was vested in my involvement in our struggle for human rights.” 

“When (former) Vice President Joe Biden chose Kamala Harris it is a completion of my dream,” said Jackson. He said that Harris is “both able and imminently qualified” to be vice president. 

In his excitement about the election on Nov. 3, Rev. Jackson said, “when we vote, we regain the promise of America. In reality, our democracy is just 65 years old.” 

DNC Black Caucus Chair, Virgie M. Rollins said that this election is about “our values, our voices, and our votes.” 

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