by Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Celebration Time, Come On!!
It was 1962 when Rev. Jesse Jackson started with Operation Bread Basket – a grass roots organization to assist poor African Americans in getting jobs, and not buying where they could not work, it was originally initiated by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It was highly successful in Chicago, through the staging of boycotts of several national brands – including Pepsi and Coca Cola – in getting 2000+ jobs for local residents. However, after King’s assassination in 1968, Rev. Jackson was designated to head up the organization in Chicago. Due to his later refusal to relocate the organization to the South, a schism occurred, and the Rainbow PUSH (People United to Save Humanity) was born in December 1971 – 45 years ago.
It has evolved into a major player in the realm of research and economic parity – both on the national and international scale – with it’s premiere Wall Street Project (January of each year), providing cutting edge information, insight and opportunities to Black Americans who have been economically disadvantaged and marginalized by the financial industry.
More than just a feel-good event, the Wall Street Project – which is held in New York City, was originally held on Wall Street – giving participants first hand opportunity to interact with major financial houses and learn about investments, and determining factors that affect their communities. Subsequent to the Attack on the World Trade Center, the conference has been held in Mid-Town Manhattan at the Sheraton Hotel, where experts share their knowledge with novices, businessmen and women, investors, political figures, activists, and ministerial representatives.
Rev. Jackson and Dr. King both recognized early on that the most segregated area was the economic divide that marginalized Black Americans in practically every area of their lives – from grass roots to the most sophisticated arenas.
It’s no secret that I am an unabashed admirer and supporter of Rev. Jackson – for all he’s done and tried to do for Black people. Somehow we don’t seem to grasp the full impact of this brother’s genius. There have been instances that he’s been so far ahead of the curve that other’s are just beginning to catch up on information he provided years ago. Some are just beginning to realize that economic development is key to our survival – something he’s been working assiduously on for decades.
His team of researchers work year round assessing where we need to focus our efforts – and he’s been correct 95% of the time. It’s high time we began to get on board with what he’s trying to accomplish and form the critical mass necessary to move us from Lodebar to self sufficiency and autonomy.
For those of us who do not reside in Chicago, the Rev. has posted a connection via YouTube to keep abreast of the Month-Long Celebration of the 45th Anniversary of PUSH – check it out – show some love and appreciation for the dedication of Rev. Jesse Jackson, and the entire Jackson Family to the Progress of Black People.
Stay Blessed &
bullet Columnist Gloria Dulan-Wilson Is a veteran New York City Journalist. Her experiences, perspective & sense of history are an invaluable combination. “check out my blog:” www.gloria-dulan-wilson.blogspot.com