Reverend Jesse Jackson at 70

Rev. Jesse Jackson celebrates his 70th birthday this Saturday, October 8.  He will be 70 years old.  Bravo. Most civil rights leaders don't live this long.  He has been on the forefront of social issues, and democratic politics since he was a student trying to check out books at the segregated library for an academic paper.  He has followed the non- violence  tradition of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. as he has protested against the social ills of our day.  He has opened doors and knocked them down.  His leadership has been bold and not wavered.

He has contributed greatly to the Democratic political process and had he not run for the presidency in the 80's President Barrack Obama would probably not be in the White House today.   His run changed the landscape of American politics.   He had lead with conviction.  He has marched for social rights.  He raised the question about South Africa's aparthaid when  President Nelson Mandela had been forgotten. He has been a force of opportunity  for African American businesses.  He has been a nightmare for corporate America as well as their friend.  He opened Wall Street to African American financial  brokers.  He has helped countless politicans to get elected to office.  He has mentored many.  He had been apart of the religious landscape.  He has been in the forefront and on the side lines.  He has broken barriers for multiple social issues.  He has traveled the world for just causes.    He is well received in Africa and treated as a head of state.  He has been of good counsel to the powerful and the disenfranchised.

He has been masterful and he has dropped the ball.  He outworks those a fraction of his age. He does not tire.  He demostrates, protests and is a master negotiator as he has traveled the world,  bringing   political prisoners home.    He has argued the case, he has made the case and he has been the case.  Most of all he has not strayed from the assisgnment King gave him.  That was to open up the American economic process to Black America in the start up of Operation Breadbasket.   He still follows the task today.

He is not always  rightfully credited for all of the work he has done and it doesn't matter.   He has sacrificied. He has won.  He has lost a few.    I  am glad to see him at 70.   He celebrates his birthday this Saturday.  If you want to  say happy birthday join us at PUSH this Saturday at   930 E. 50th STreet at 8:00 a.m.


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