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Jesse Jackson was a civil rights leader and two-time Democratic presidential candidate. He became one of the most influential African-Americans of the late 20th century.
See the fact file below for more interesting Jesse Jackson facts or alternatively you can download our comprehensive worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
- Jesse Louis Burns was born in Greenville, South Carolina,on October 8, 1941.
- His parents were Noah Louis Robinson and Helen Burns. His mother was 16 years old when he was born and his parents did not get married.
- Jesse’s mother married Charles Jackson when he was two and he was raised by his grandmother Matilda until he was 13.
- His stepfather adopted him in 1957 so he returned home.
- He graduated from Greenville’s Sterling High School and was offered a minor league baseball contract and a Big Ten football scholarship.
- Jackson spent a year at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and transferred to North Carolina Agricultural and Technical College in Greensboro, where he was quarterback and student body president.
- He graduated with a sociology degree in 1964 and married Jacqueline Brown, a fellow student. They had five children.
Civil Rights Movement:
- While in Greensboro, Jesse joined the Congress of Racial Equality and participated in marches and sit-ins.
- After graduation, he began divinity studies at the Chicago Theological Seminary and worked to organize student support for Martin Luther King, Jr.
- In March 1965, Jesse travelled to Alabama to join Selma in Montgomery for a march with Martin Luther King, Jr.
- He left the seminary after a year to work full-time for the SCLC.
- He was in charge of Operation Breadbasket. It was SCLC’s initiative to monitor companies’ treatment of African-Americans and to organize boycotts calling for fair hiring practices.
- In 1968, Jesse was part of King’s inner circle. They were together when he was assassinated and was the last person to talk to King.
- Jesse started his own organization People United to Save Humanity (PUSH).
- In 1972, he led a group to the Democratic National Convention and managed to oust Chicago Mayor Richard Daley’s Illinois delegation.
- Another organization, National Rainbow Coalition, grew out of his work in the 1984 campaign and merged with PUSH in 1996.
- Jackson ran for president in 1984 and 1988, coming in second in the 1988 Democratic party.
- His campaign wanted people of all races to co-operate, and more emphasis on education, urban issues, and infrastructure.
- From 1991 to 1997 he was a senator from the District of Columbia.
- In the 1980s and 1990s, Jackson worked independently to secure the release of prisoners held by several anti-American regimes.
- He travelled to Syria in 1984 to facilitate the release of a U.S. fighter pilot.
- Jesse also helped free 22 Americans held in Cuba on drug charges, as well as 27 Cuban political prisoners.
- During the 1990s, he worked to free hostages from Iraq and Kuwait before the Persian Gulf War. He also secured the release of three U.S. soldiers captured during the Kosovo conflict.
- In 2001, Jesse withdrew briefly from activism after admitting that he had a 2-year-old a daughter with a former member of his staff and had used Rainbow/PUSH funds to pay a portion of the expenses.
- He was an early supporter of Barack Obama’s successful 2008 presidential campaign.
- Later on, he became a critic of certain Obama policies.
- On the night of Obama’s election, Jesse was photographed on stage at the victory celebration, teary-eyed as he recalled Martin Luther King, Jr. and others who had died in the struggle for civil rights.
Jesse Jackson Worksheets
This bundle includes 11 ready-to-use Jesse Jackson worksheets that are perfect for students to learn about Jesse Jackson who was a civil rights leader and two-time Democratic presidential candidate. He became one of the most influential African-Americans of the late 20th century.
This download includes the following worksheets:
- Jesse Jackson Facts
- Knowing Jesse
- Describe it!
- Jesse Acrostic
- Poet’s Corner
- Set Free
- Leaving Activism
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Link will appear as Jesse Jackson Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, December 19, 2017
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.