Only On FOX: Rev. Jesse Jackson on activism, relevance, and why he won’t stop

Fox Carolina's Arthur Mondale goes one-on-one with the Reverend Jesse Jackson and visits the Rainbow Push Coalition's headquarters in Chicago
Published: Mar. 21, 2023 at 12:45 AM EDT|Updated: Mar. 21, 2023 at 12:46 AM EDT
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GREENVILLE, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Reverend Jesse Jackson recently sat down with FOX Carolina’s Arthur Mondale in Chicago and discussed his career in activism and what keeps him going today.

‘Keep hope alive’ was a popular slogan in the 1980′s during Rev. Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaigns.  The Greenville native didn’t make it to the White House, but even Time magazine recognized ‘the Jackson factor.’  Rev. Jackson led a generation of progressives and movements who did the unthinkable, they had victories not just for themselves, but the communities they were a part of.  And at 81, the activist won’t stop.

For the last six decades, the South Carolina Native has been at the center of the nation’s social evolution.

“You know there was a day and time when people would say in the Black community, ‘Don’t make me call Jesse Jackson,’” Bishop Tavis Grant, Rainbow PUSH Coalition acting national executive director said.

Reverend Jackson said his work of fighting for social equity started in west Greenville’s former Sterling High School. In 1960, he and “The Greenville Eight” were arrested following demonstrations against Greenville’s segregated public facilities. “We were inferior by law, but we kept learning how we could change it,” Jackson said.

According to Jackson, Doctor Martin Luther King Jr. later told him that to build bridges in America, he would need to learn the politics of Jesus. “Jesus was about changing the world and changing individuals,” Jackson said. This idea led to him acquiring a former synagogue on East 50th Street in Chicago. Jackson explained, “Chicago was the right place, for the right reasons and right timing.”

“There’s a lot of history made in this building,” Grant said. “He was a lieutenant for Dr. King, Jr. and moved here to Chicago and so this really helps us chronicle the work.”

According to Grant, His time with the Greenville Eight is where Jackson found his passion for social justice. Grant added that the same passion is alive today through his current work with the Rainbow PUSH Coalition.

Today, the Rainbow PUSH Coalition has offices in six cities (Atlanta, Bay Area, Chicago, Detroit, New York City and Washington, DC) across the nation.  A new Houston office is set to open in August.  To learn about the coalitions goal to protect, defend, and gain civil rights by leveling the economic and educational playing fields, visit here