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Jesse’s Mom

by Jan Schroder

This week they buried Helen Jackson, 92, gracious mother of activist Jesse Jackson – recalling my conversation with her 30 years ago.

I was in charge of the 100th anniversary of The Charlotte Observer, and my idea to sponsor a speaking series by famous Carolina natives was stonewalled by Jesse, who preferred his schedule open.

I called Helen, inviting her to hear her son speak from the front row. “I’d love to,” she said. “When is it?” “Well, I’ve got this problem,” I began. Two days later, his office called. I had my date. Helen – and 2,500 Carolinians – loved his speech.

Chris Schroder, SPR Atlanta


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The Atlanta 100