Jacqueline Jackson promised her son, Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., that she would write him every day during his incarceration in federal prison to serve his thirty-month sentence. This book is an inspiring and moving selection of the letters she wrote him. Together, they comprise a powerful act of love—nurturing and ministering to her son's heart, health, and mind and maintaining his essential connection with home. Frank, anecdotal, imbued with faith, and sometimes humorous, they offer intimate details from the family’s daily life, along with news of friends and the community and glimpses of such figures as Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, and Mayor Marion Barry. They also touch eloquently on issues of social justice, politics, and history, as when Mrs. Jackson recalls growing up in Jim Crow Florida, and they reflect the qualities, instilled by her own mother, that made her a role model for much of her life.
Ultimately, these letters offer a blueprint for why we have to support our families not just as they elevate but when they fall. This collection is Mrs. Jackson's contribution to healing during a time when our prisons are full and our communities are suffering. She provides the road map for ensuring that the individuals serving sentences understand that prison is where they are, not who they are and for helping them sustain the courage to keep hope alive.
Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr. served eight terms in the US House of Representatives, from 1995 to his resignation in 2012, and was reelected for a ninth term but declined to serve. He has been secretary of the Democratic National Committee’s Black Caucus, national field director of the National Rainbow Coalition, and a member Rainbow/PUSH Coalition. Born in Greenville, South Carolina, he attended college at North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University in Greensboro, NC, and has advance degrees from Chicago Theological Seminary and the University of Illinois College of Law in Chicago, IL. He lives in Chicago.