Jesse Jackson

Jesse Jackson “Up with Hope: A biography of Jesse Jackson” Dillon Press, 1986 This book is about a virtuous leader, Jesse Jackson. It explains how he grew up in a hard time for blacks and how he was committed to being somebody. When Jesse was a little boy his grandmother urged him saying, “Jesse, promise me youll be somebody.” The Reverend Jesse Jackson understood the power of hope. Jesses childhood was tough for him. His mother and father werent married when she had Jesse and the communitys disapproval was felt. Another reason for the tough times in Jesses growing up was the discrimination against blacks. The tough times never got in Jesses way; he was destined to be somebody.

Jesse had several jobs while he was growing up, to keep him off of the streets, earning extra money for the clothing he liked to wear. His first job was at the age of six, he worked in the wood and coal yards owned by his grandfather. He also was very active in his schooling, always trying to better himself and learn new things. When he was twelve years old he joined the reading club at the County Library for the Colored, where Jesse found books to satisfy his curiosity and his love for words. Jesse was also involved with sports and other activities. When he was in high school he was always running for all the class offices and any leadership position, because of his smarts and ways with the crowd he was usually the one to win the positions. Jesse graduated tenth in his class and went off to college to the University of Illinois on an athletic scholarship.

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He was offered six thousand dollars a year to join the New York Giants, but he felt that he should better his education. When Jesse got to Illinois he found that segregation was as bad there as in the south. He was only allowed to play certain positions because of his race, he wanted to play quarterback but that was only for the whites. By the end of his freshmen year he transferred to another school, North Carolina Agriculture and Technical State College (A&T), a small all-black school. Jesse was quick to join the action around his new school.

While Jesse attended college at North Carolina A&T, he joined many clubs and began to act in the civil rights movement. After Jesse Jackson graduated from college he did political work in North Carolina. He spent several weeks with Noah, Junior, his fathers son, while brooding about his future. He was trying to decide whether he should become a minister just like his grandfather or if he should further his education. He later decided to study to become a minister.

While Jesse was studying to become a minister he led several of civil rights movements and spoke with many people. He worked with Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. on several operations. After Dr. King was assassinated he formed his own organization helping out African-Americans.

Analysis This book shows a good example of leadership. Jesse Jackson was always trying to better himself and become somebody. He always did what he thought was right trying to help out others. If you believe in something it can be done. Jesse Jackson wanted to be somebody and that was just what he did, he became somebody.

He fought for what was right and did a lot for the black communities. In a way you could Jesse Jackson is a hero. He did a lot in helping the civil rights movement and making things better for African-Americans. Many people admire the things he has accomplished.


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