On Saturday, Rev. Jesse Jackson and his wife Jacqueline announced that they’ve been hospitalized in Chicago, Illinois with COVID-19.
“Rev. Jesse L. Jackson, Sr (79) and Mrs. Jacqueline Jackson (77) have both tested positive for the Covid-19 virus and are in Northwestern Hospital,” read the statement from the Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. “Doctors are currently monitoring the condition of both.”
Jackson, a Civil Rights icon who was a close associate of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and has run for U.S. President twice, was vaccinated in January. He has been active in pushing efforts to increase vaccination rates among Black Americans. Despite being diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2017, Jackson has remained a fixture in racial justice movements, campaigning for voting rights and speaking at a protest led by the Poor People’s Campaign earlier in August, where he was arrested.
If you saw Questlove’s marvelous Harlem Cultural Festival documentary Summer of Soul, you undoubtedly remember the stirring festival speech Jackson delivered in a moment that serves as the movie’s spiritual center. In it, Jackson recounts his memory of King’s final moments before bringing Mahlia Jackson and Mavis Staples out on stage to sing “Precious Lord, Take My Hand” — a hymn King had called his favorite shortly before his assassination. It’s a spellbinding moment.
Jackson’s longtime partner in Civil Rights activism Rev. Al Sharpton tweeted words of encouragement for his friend, urging Christians to pray.
Let us all pray for Rev. and Mrs Jesse Jackson. They need our sincere and intense prayers. Prayer changes things!!!
— Reverend Al Sharpton (@TheRevAl) August 22, 2021