NAACP Statement On Passing Of Helen Burns Jackson, Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Mother

BALTIMORE, MD – The NAACP family acknowledges the passing of Mrs. Helen Burns Jackson, mother of Rev. Jesse Jackson. Mrs. Jackson passed away on Labor Day in Greenville, SC, after a lengthy illness. She was 92.

Never in the spotlight , Mrs. Jackson’s presence was the driving force behind her son Jesse’s success. She watched and prayed from the sidelines as her son helped change America. Known for her strong faith and deep sense of Christian responsibility to help others, she supported her son as he and other youth in the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) held sit-ins at lunch counters in their hometown of Greenville during the early 1960s.

Mrs. Jackson was also present for Rev. Jackson’s runs for president twice, briefly appearing in public at the Democratic National Convention in 1988 when Rev. Jackson made his historic address to the convention as a presidential candidate.

“Helen Burns Jackson was a woman whose faith and commitment to her family brought stability and joy to her community, and inspired her sons to lead and enrich the lives of a generation,” said NAACP President Cornell W. Brooks. “We honor her life, and our thoughts and prayers are with Rev. Jackson and his family.”

“Mrs. Jackson was a constant spiritual guide to her son with unwavering faith which she applied to her daily living,” said NAACP Chairman Roslyn P. Brock. “She demonstrated a mother’s love and was, in essence, a mother of the Civil Rights Movement. We salute her life and honor her legacy.”