The St. Louis Public Library is celebrating this year’s Black History Month by featuring Reverend Jesse Jackson for two special appearances on February 18 at Christ Church Cathedral, 1210 Locust Street.
Civil rights leader and two-time Democratic presidential candidate, Rev. Jackson is one of the most influential figures in the late 20th century. After he graduated from college, he led and participated in numerous marches and sit-ins and worked to garner support for Martin Luther King Jr. In 1965, he joined King in the historic Selma to Montgomery march and from there decided to work full-time for King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC). During his time at SCLC, he was in charge of Operation Breadbasket, which was an initiative to monitor companies’ treatment of African Americans and organize boycotts calling for fair hiring practices. He worked very closely with King and was with him when he was assassinated.
Rev. Jackson founded the organization’s Operation PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) in 1971 and the National Rainbow Coalition in 1974, in which he advocated for broader employment opportunities for African Americans, civil rights, and political activism. These two organizations merged together into Rainbow/PUSH, which is still operating today and headquartered in Chicago. In 1984 and 1988, he ran for the Democratic presidential nomination. At that point, he was the first viable African American presidential candidate with winning in 16 states and almost 20 percent of the vote. In the 1980s and 1990s, he also worked internationally to negotiate the release of American prisoners and hostages.
At this upcoming SLPL event on February 18, Rev. Jackson will be interviewed about his life as a Civil Rights leader and his thoughts on work that still needs to be done to achieve equality in America. There will be two appearances from 1:15-2:45pm and 3:10-4:40pm. The event is free but tickets are required and can be obtained here: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3201803
More information about the event can be found here: https://www.slpl.org/news/slpls-black-history-month-celebration-to-feature-rev-jesse-jackson/
This will be a great opportunity to see and listen to someone who led such a monumental movement and played a big role in making history in the not-so-distant past, 50 years ago.