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Rev. Jesse Jackson reflects on civil rights victories and new challenges

February 19, 2018

CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Voices and laughter bleed through the closed door of the pastor's office. Then it grows quiet. We can barely hear a man talking and the voice is familiar. 

On this night last month there's a very special keynote speaker for the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Gala at the Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church in Cleveland. There's already a din from the crowd filling the sanctuary down the hall. The man behind the office door that I'm hoping to speak with is the Rev. Jesse Jackson. 

The door opens to a swarm of activity by security detail, photographers and a local media crew. Rev. E.T. Caviness calls my name and beckons me to "come on in here." He's the president of the Cleveland Chapter of The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, and Jackson is here by his invitation. 

I make my way through the pack of people and, after a whirlwind, find myself sitting across from one of the foremost civil rights leaders of our time. I ask Jackson the same question as the other interviewees who have taken part in cleveland.com's Promised Land video series. I want to hear his feelings on how far we have progressed as a nation toward racial equality, and how far we have to go as we approach the 50th anniversary of King's death.

We also invite you to join the Promised Land series, which will continue through the 50th anniversary of King's assassination on April 4. We want to hear your opinions.

 

By John Pana, cleveland.com JPana@cleveland.com

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source: cleveland.com

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