Rolling Out

Rev. Jesse Jackson’s mother dies in hospice care

Photo source: Rev Jesse Jackson Sr @RevJJackson via Twitter
Photo source: Rev Jesse Jackson Sr @RevJJackson via Twitter

Helen Burns Jackson, the mother of civil rights leader Rev. Jesse Jackson, died Monday morning at Greenville Memorial Hospital in South Carolina. She was 91.

Helen Jackson had been under hospice care for a few weeks, with her son by her side. Rev. Jackson spoke with WYFF News 4 last week and said, “Mom is hanging on. She was on life support. Now she is on heavy medicine to keep at ease. It’s a very tense moment, but yet we thank God for her.”

He sent out a tweet Monday afternoon informing his followers of his mother’s passing: “My loving mother Mrs Helen Jackson has made her transition to be with God. My family thank you for your love & prayers.”

Ms. Jackson gave birth to her son at the age of 16, and her married neighbor, Noah Louis Robinson, was the biological father. She later married a post office maintenance worker, Charles Henry Jackson, who adopted Jesse. Although Jesse was given the name of his adoptive father, he remained close with his biological father and considered both men to be his dad.

Rev. Jackson said during a press conference Tuesday that he was conscious of social injustices early in his life because of his mother.

“Our house was a conversation about fairness and social justice in part because mama could not vote until she was 40,” he said. “It really was a call to service. Mama had the capacity to move beyond social blocks. She learned to love people across lines of race.”

Greenville’s Springfield Baptist Church will celebrate Helen Jackson’s life with musical performances Sunday from 6 to 9 p.m. The church will conduct her funeral service Monday at 11 a.m.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Join our Newsletter

Sign up for Rolling Out news straight to your inbox.

Read more about:
Also read
Rolling Out