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Quotations From JESSE JACKSON


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  • I am not a perfect servant. I am a public servant doing my best against the odds. As I develop and serve, be patient. God is not finished with me yet.
    Jesse Jackson (b. 1941), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Speech, July 16, 1984, at the Democratic National Convention, San Francisco, California.

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  • If you wake up in the morning and think you're white, you're bound to meet someone before five o'clock who will let you know you are just another nigger.
    Jesse Jackson (b. 1941), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Sun (London, September 20, 1989).
  • A cheque or credit card, a Gucci bag strap, anything of value will do. Give as you live.
    Jesse Jackson (b. 1941), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Quoted in Daily Telegraph (London, April 6, 1988). Jackson was fund-raising in Aspen, Colo.
  • Our flag is red, white and blue, but our nation is a rainbow—red, yellow, brown, black and white—and we're all precious in God's sight.
    Jesse Jackson (b. 1941), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Speech, July 16, 1984, Democratic National Convention, San Francisco. Quoted in The Harper Book of American Quotations, ed. Gorton Carruth and Eugene Ehrlich (1988). Jackson added, "My constituency is the desperate, the damned, the disinherited, the disrespected and the despised."

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  • I hear that melting-pot stuff a lot, and all I can say is that we haven't melted.
    Jesse Jackson (b. 1941), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Playboy (Chicago, Nov. 1969).
  • The burden of being black is that you have to be superior just to be equal. But the glory of it is that, once you achieve, you have achieved, indeed.
    Jesse Jackson (b. 1941), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. quoted in Christian Science Monitor (Boston, Sept. 26, 1979).

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  • When we're unemployed, we're called lazy; when the whites are unemployed it's called a depression.
    Jesse Jackson (b. 1941), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Interview in The Americans, "When Whites Are Unemployed, It's Called a Depression," David Frost (1970).

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  • My constituency is the desperate, the damned, the disinherited, the disrespected and the despised.
    Jesse Jackson (b. 1941), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Speech, July 17, 1984, Democratic National Convention, San Francisco.
  • We've removed the ceiling above our dreams. There are no more impossible dreams.
    Jesse Jackson (b. 1941), U.S. clergyman, civil rights leader. Independent (London, June 9, 1988).
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