Image

10:22 AM / Tuesday August 20, 2019

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

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.

Image

“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

Commentary

AlawfulTruth: The land of milk and honey, or a pot of worries?

August 16, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email By Andrea Lawful Sanders There seems to be assumptions made by many Americans...

Go With The-Flo

Kerry Washington has honored with an “Artistic Achievement Award” at the Jamaican Marquee 57th Independence Black Tie Gala

August 9, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO:  Kerry Washington (Photo: Tinseltown / shutterstock) By Florence Anthony According to reports,...

Entertainment

Recovery Idol: Building Self Esteem

August 16, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email ABOVE PHOTO: On the left is Dr. Arthur Evans, former Commissioner of the...

Health

Poll Shows Impact of Opioid Crisis on Philadelphians and Their Neighborhoods

August 16, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email 29% know someone killed by drug use; 41% say opioids hurt quality of...

Food And Beverage

How to create a charcuterie board for your next party

August 16, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email BPT Planning a party doesn’t have to be difficult. Instead of agonizing over...

Horoscopes

SUNscopes for the week of Aug. 18

August 16, 2019

Tweet Share Pin Email All Signs: Just a few days left of Leo then swoosh! We’re into...

The Philadelphia Sunday Sun Staff