*If you haven’t heard, Helen Burns Jackson, the mother of civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, has died. She was 92.
Rev. Jackson confirmed to TheAP that his mother died Monday morning in her 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 added.
Rev. Al Sharpton, President of National Action Network (NAN), released the following statement on Helen Burns Jackson:
“The passing of Helen Burns Jackson is a loss to all of us who grew up under the mentorship of her son Rev. Jesse Jackson and were lucky enough to have experienced her overriding encouragement. She was undoubtedly a deeply spiritual and compassionate woman and a freedom fighter in her own right.
“I have known her since I was 13 years old as her son’s youth director in New York, and as I grew in age, we never lost contact and she never stopped encouraging and advising those of us in the civil rights movement. She was the matriarch of the movement in the 70’s and 80’s and up until now. I visited her with Rev. Jackson last Monday in the hospital and saw her weakening condition but that does not lessen the sense of loss upon hearing of her transition. May she rest in peace.”
NAN mourns the passing of Mrs. Helen Jackson,mother of Rev. Jesse Jackson.1 week ago we were praying at her bedside. pic.twitter.com/gm5Dn6Xz2C
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) September 7, 2015
Liz Kenigsberg/Dominic Hawkins