South Carolina native the Rev. Jesse Jackson has remained one of the nation’s most visible black leaders for the better part of half a century.
From the pulpit to political podiums, Greenville-born Jackson has proclaimed – and continues to promote – what’s often been perceived as a boldly liberal platform.
He’s stood on principles of civil rights and decried racism and social and economic inequality for minorities. Jackson’s activism efforts, though, often have been accompanied by criticism of his self-promotional leadership style – a disposition that apparently contributed to an eventual wedge between Jackson and his mentor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Jackson made two unsuccessful bids for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988. Jackson finished third and second in the ’84 and ’88 Democratic races, respectively, winning South Carolina Democrats’ support both times.
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In the three decades since, Jackson has continued his national crusade for social justice. As recently as this fall, Jackson campaigned for voter registration and expansion of health care for the poor in his home state.