Jackson, Jesse L., Sr.
- Robert C. Smith
civil rights leader, was born Jesse Louis Robinson in Greenville, South Carolina. His mother, Nancy Burns, was only sixteen years old when Jesse was born, and she was not married to Jackson's father, Noah Robinson. On 2 October 1943 Jackson's mother married Charles H. Jackson a janitor who adopted Jackson and gave him his name In the course of his career Jackson has frequently used the fact that he was born out of wedlock to a teenage mother to try to inspire young people to believe that no matter what their backgrounds they can be somebody At Greenville s Sterling High School Jackson was a good student and an outstanding athlete After graduation from high school he accepted a football scholarship at the University of Illinois but left after a year Jackson attributed his departure to the school s racist sports policy stating that he could ...
A version of this article originally appeared in African American National Biography.