Image

8:06 PM / Thursday August 11, 2022

11 Sep 2015

Helen Burns Jackson, mother of Jesse Jackson, dies at 92

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
September 11, 2015 Category: Week In Review Posted by:

ABOVE PHOTO:  In this photo from circa 1988, Democratic presidential hopeful Jesse Jackson clasps hands with his mother, Helen Jackson, during taping of the Phil Donahue show in New York. Jackson told The Associated Press his mother died Monday, Sept. 7, 2015 in her longtime hometown of Greenville, S.C. He says she had been in failing health for some time. She was 92. (AP Photo/Barry Thumma, file)

associated press

Image

The Rev. Jesse Jackson told The Associated Press his mother died Monday morning in her longtime hometown of Greenville, South Carolina. She had been in failing health for some time, he said.

“She was an incredible woman blessed with a long life,” Jackson said.

Jackson described his mother as a talented musician, active member of her church and big inspiration for much of his community activism. Born in 1923, Helen Burns Jackson “lived under very trying circumstances, but she was so determined to make a contribution,” her son said.

Jackson said his mother had two scholarships to attend college, but when she became pregnant with him, she chose not to go. She later became a cosmetologist.

“She helped a lot of people,” Jackson told The Greenville News a few days before she died. “That’s mostly what I remember about Mother is some people would call and say ‘I need my hair to be dressed, but I don’t have any money.’ She would say, ‘Come on anyhow.’”

Jackson also recalled how his mother would help others who couldn’t read or write fill out government paperwork.

One year when they were too poor to buy Christmas gifts, he said, they came home from a pageant to find six bags of groceries on the porch. They learned later the groceries came from an illiterate World War I veteran whom Burns Jackson had once helped.

Years later, Burns Jackson watched her son rise to fame as an activist, primarily from her South Carolina home. However, she appeared onstage when he addressed the Democratic National Convention in 1988. He lost the nomination that year to Michael Dukakis.

Another son, Chuck Jackson, is a singer and songwriter.

Burns Jackson also listened to her son’s radio broadcasts from Chicago and never missed a TV appearance, Jackson told the newspaper.

“She took lots of joy in that,” he said. “She always asked, ‘Lord, what have I done to deserve this? What have I done to deserve this?’”

  • Facebook
  • Twitter

Leave a Comment

Recent News

Education

Pennsylvania universities reject GOP call to freeze tuition

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email By Brooke Schultz ASSOCIATED PRESS  HARRISBURG, Pa. — Four Pennsylvania universities said last...

Entertainment

Atlanta’s image challenged by facts of 1906 race massacre

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email By Michael Warren associated press ATLANTA— Everyone who moves through downtown Atlanta today...

Health

Back-to-school quiz for parents: Put your vaccination knowledge to the test

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT It’s that time of year: Kids are squeezing in the last seconds...

Stateside

Justices uphold Pennsylvania’s 2019 mail-in voting expansion

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: Workers count Philadelphia’s mail ballots for the May 18 primary election...

Color Of Money

How much does a funeral cost?

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT When a death occurs, it’s normal to wonder – and even worry...

Food And Beverage

What’s Cookin’? Jackfruit Stew

August 5, 2022

Tweet Share Pin Email Tweet Share Pin Email Related Posts What’s Cookin’?: 7 Bean Stew What’s Cookin’?...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff