Jackson, Jesse (1941—)

Jesse L. Jackson was an early activist in the civil rights movement. A follower of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Jackson was with King in Memphis when King was assassinated in 1968. After King's death, Jackson continued his work in the Southern Christian Leadership Conference but left that organization as a result of conflicts with other organization leaders. Continuing his civil rights work, Jackson founded Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) and later the Rainbow Coalition, which merged with Operation PUSH in 1996.

As an African American leader, Jackson has been an agitator for civil rights internationally as well as in the United States. He has injected himself into situations and advocated, sometimes successfully, for the release of prisoners or captives in Syria, Cuba, and ...

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