As handguns continue to take their toll in Black communities from San Francisco to Miami, the Rev. Jesse Jackson has taken on one of the most powerful villains operating in our community today: the gun industry.
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While the rest of America laments the bloodbath occurring on the streets of countless U.S. cities – like Newark, N.J., Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, Oakland and New Orleans – Jackson has put action behind his cries to get the handguns out of our neighborhoods.
At least two of his demonstrations in front of gun shop owners – in his hometown of Chicago and in Prince George’s County, Md., near Washington, D.C. – landed him in jail, an appropriate sacrifice for someone who marched with his regularly jailed mentor, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In addition to his stance against gun manufacturers and sellers, Jackson has continued to be in the forefront of other issues affecting Black people.
Through the Rainbow Coalition and Operation PUSH, which he founded, for example, he has remained an effective crusader for voter registration, and economic and racial empowerment.