Jesse Jackson withdraws from his movement

The Reverend Jesse Jackson, iconic figure of the movement in favor of civil rights in the United States, officially said goodbye yesterday Sunday to his organization Rainbow PUSH Coalition, which he founded in 1971 in defense of those rights and international Justice.

His step back in the presidency of that NGO took place at the annual convention that the group held in Chicago, the city where it is based and to which the US vice president, Kamala Harris, attended in his honor.

Jackson, born 81 years ago in Greenville, South Carolina to a single mother, suffers from Parkinson’s. His decision to retire from him comes prompted by his age and his health problems.

The reverend was a candidate for the Democratic Party’s presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988. When he announced his illness in November 2017, he recognized already then that he found it increasingly difficult to complete his daily activities, which had become a “challenge.”

decades of activism

The US president himself, Joe Biden, recognized his decades of activism this Sunday through a statement.

“America’s promise is that we are all equal to God and deserve to be treated equally throughout our lives. While we have never lived up to that promise, we have never completely strayed from it because of extraordinary leaders like Reverend Jesse Jackson,” the Democratic president told him.

History, he maintained, will remember him as “a man of God and of the people, determined, strategic and unafraid of the work of redeeming the soul of the nation.”

Jackson founded Operation PUSH in 1971, three years after the assassination of fellow activist Martin Luther King in Memphis, which he witnessed.

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In 1996, his organization was renamed the Rainbow PUSH Coalition after merging with The National Rainbow Coalition. The group says its mission is to protect, defend and win civil rights and defines itself as a multi-racial, multi-issue, progressive and international organization that seeks social change.

“The nation is in your debt,” one of his six children, Democratic Congressman Jonathan Jackson, told him from the stage. “You changed public policy in America and all you had was a Bible,” he added.

Jackson was taken over at the head of the Rainbow PUSH Coalition by Frederick Douglass Haynes, also an African-American, 62 years old and pastor of the Friendship-West Baptist Church in Dallas since 1983, who in his first words in his new position thanked him for the journey he had come and that he dared to tell the entire nation to “hold on to hope.”

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