Loving You, Thinking of You, Don't Forget to Pray
Letters to My Son in Prison
Jacqueline L. Jackson, Jesse L. Jackson Jr.
- 264 Pages
- February 5, 2019
- ISBN: 9781948924320
- Trim Size: 152.400mm x 228.600mm
From a mother, role model, and civil rights veteran, an inspiring gift of love to a child in his darkest hour.
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.
“The immeasurable love and grace that Mrs. Jackson exhibits through her letters to her eldest son Jesse is the same love and grace she has shown to young men and women around the country. . . . These letters of love, forgiveness, redemption, and second chances are a must-read. This book is a must-read.”—Minyon Moore, Former Director of White House Political Affairs for President Bill Clinton
“One of the crippling impacts of mass incarceration in this nation is the disconnect that families suffer. And in order for one to recover, whether they are justifiably incarcerated or not, they must keep that connection with their home and with their foundation that can restore them and connect them to their basic life and who they are. For Mrs. Jacqueline Jackson, such a prominent woman, to expose to the world her most intimate and painstaking letters to her son, is an example of how we must fight against our own pain and empower ourselves with an unbreakable connection until one gets home and understands that whether you are fairly or unfairly incarcerated, and whether you sleep behind strange walls or bars, that you always got a home and that connection cannot be broken.”—Reverend Al Sharpton, Founder of the National Action Network (NAN)
“A touching, insightful must-read that serves as an inspiration for many who have walked the path—'whether in a camp, behind the fence, or in the special housing unit’—and for their loved ones who experience the trauma and separation that comes with incarceration . . . This beautiful compilation of love letters filled with wisdom, humor, and insight warms the soul and reminds us of the healing power of the unbreakable bond between mother and son.”—Georgette “Gigi” Dixon, SVP, Director of Strategic Partnerships Wells Fargo & Company
“I have known the Jackson family for over fifty years, but after reading Jackie Jackson’s amazing letters to her incarcerated son I’m convinced I never really knew her. I see the unconditional love of a mother writing to her son virtually every day. . . . What a woman! What a read!”—Frank E. Watkins, National Political Director, Rainbow Coalition
“My mother, through her letters, sustained me through my darkest hour. She reminded me of the power of love, the power of mercy, and the power of forgiveness.
“She helped correct my path, and put me on the road to redemption.
“She saved me. By saving one person, she taught me that the nation could be saved as well.”—Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr.