Podtalk: 50 Years Later, Jesse Jackson on Martin Luther King Jr.

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CHICAGO – On April 4th, 1968, Reverend Jesse Jackson was already, at age 26, a civil rights leader. He joined Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in Memphis, Tennessee, on that April night to help with a sanitation workers strike. He was in the parking lot of the Lorraine Motel when the shots rang out that killed Dr. King on the balcony.

Rev. Jesse Jackson in 2013
Photo credit: Joe Arce of Starstruck Foto for HollywoodChicago.com

Reverend Jesse Jackson was born in Greenville, South Carolina. His attitude towards the Jim Crow laws of his youth were radicalized after the Montgomery bus boycott in 1955, which was led by a young Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. After college, he attended the Chicago Theological Seminary, but left the school in the mid-1960s to join the civil rights movement full time.

Jackson came to Dr. King’s attention during the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965, eventually was the leader of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) in Chicago, and was ordained a minister in 1968. At the Lorraine Motel on April 4th, 1968, Jackson was talking from the parking lot to Dr. King, who was on the second floor motel balcony. At that moment, the shots were fired that would kill the civil rights icon.

Jesse Jackson and Dr. King on the Balcony of the Lorraine Motel on April 4th, 1968
Photo credit: File Photo

In the following Podtalk with Patrick McDonald from HollywoodChicago.com from 2013, the Reverend Jesse Jackson talks about the circumstances, 50 years ago today on April 4th, 1968, surrounding the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

For more information about Rainbow/PUSH, the non-profit that the pursues social justice, civil rights and social activism, and was founded by Rev. Jesse Jackson, click here. For an April 4th New York Times editorial by Rev. Jackson about Dr. King, click here. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., 1929-1968

HollywoodChicago.com senior staff writer Patrick McDonald

Writer, Editorial Coordinator

© 2018 Patrick McDonald, HollywoodChicago.com

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