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Jesse Jackson’s Daughter Santita Gives a Heartfelt Tribute to Her Daddy

ewopoewewopewsSantita Jackson is a personality in her own right, very successful on both radio and television.  She contributes to Your Black World regularly, as does her father.  Another thing about Santita is that she loves her father, standing by his side year-after-year, in both personal and professional ways.

Santita often speaks about seeing her father go through the ups and downs of his career, as well as his rise to nearly becoming the first black President of the United States.   He cleared that path for President Obama, as Santita and her siblings dealt with the challenges of living life in the spotlight.   She currently supports her father as the producer on his radio show, “Keep Hope Alive with Rev. Jesse Jackson,” and also works with him on numerous professional endeavors.

Here is what Santita had to say about her dad:
I want to wish everyone a Blessed Father’s Day…

This is a great and necessary holiday—though, sadly, it is a holiday that fills many with ambivalence, anger, hurt or disappointment. My heart breaks for those who have those feelings. The absence of your Father from your life leaves you wanting throughout the course of your life. I have seen it in my own Father—in his longings for his Father’s presence and protection. At 71, his pain is still raw. It is a pain that—no matter what the current conversation asserts—no one but a Father can ease; and his absence can only be filled by him.

Too often—day in and day out—we hear about what our Fathers are not or were not…

Thank God, that is not my story, and therefore, that is not my approach to this holiday. Let me tell you why.

I love my Daddy more than I can put into words…

All of my life—even before I was born—he has been my Protector…my Cheerleader…He has lovingly chastised and corrected me when I was wrong, and he has applauded the loudest—sometimes too loudly! LOL!—in my triumphs. No matter what, I have been able to count on him…And, for that I will be eternally grateful.

None of this has come easily. Indeed, I have never had the luxury of taking his presence in my life for granted. Actually, his presence in my life has been one of the greatest presents to my life, because I never expected him to live—at least not for long. None of those in his line of work did…Medgar Evers was shot while coming home at 43…Malcolm X and Dr. King were both killed at 39…The odds were not on our side. And, our Mother, my Sister and my Brothers were all too aware of this. 

Because of daily death threats directed toward him—received at our home, his office and wherever he appeared—everyday that he lived, for us and for me, was Father’s Day.

Let me share a little story with you…

The week of my Senior Prom, I came across an article in PARADE Magazine that listed the 10 most likely global targets of an assassination. The Pope and President Reagan topped the list, and my Father was third. I was devastated, yet I never told a soul. I did not want to put any more pressure on my Mother than she lived with on a daily basis, and I did not want to upset my siblings—whatever carefree moments that they could have, I wanted them to enjoy. But, something more ominous was at play: timing. This was all too close to home. You see, just a couple months before I had read this, the President had been shot; and, tragically, three days after I read that piece, the Pope was shot in St. Peter’s Square. Needless to say, this dampened the joy of Prom Week for me. Killed it, quite frankly.

But, I will tell you what—who—restored it: My Daddy.

Because he had a huge speaking engagement on the night of my Prom—engagements which sustained the PUSH organization and our Family—it turned out that my Father was not going to be able to see me off. I was disappointed, but I understood. (In fact, he thought that my Prom was the NEXT week, thus the confusion.) As my Mother, Mrs. Odom, Sister, Girlfriends—Natalie and Darcine—and Miss Katie helped me to get ready, I heard some familiar footsteps coming up the hall toward my room. It was Daddy! I knew it before he knocked on my door. I screamed with delight. And he said, “I got to that airport and said, ‘I am not going to let my Baby go to this Prom without me!’ Turn this car around!” What a gift!

I have been Blessed to have had him for many more years. We have shared many joys and some profound pain, but I would not change a thing. Because, as Albertina Walker told my Mother and I years ago, “every joy and every pain in your life make you who you are.” 

My Father, like yours, is human. All too human. And, in spite of that and because of that, he has done the best that he could for me and my Siblings. And he has given the best that he had to give to my Siblings and to me. Who could ask for any more?

Though it is hard to fathom, we all must remember that our Parents are first people. Their first names are not Mother and Daddy. They have names. They have their own histories, joys, pains and disappointments that they carry with them and that they bring to our relationships with them. When we get that, it becomes easier—and necessary—to view them with compassion and empathy. After all, they are as human as we are.

So, to the man who has adored me no matter what I have done—and no matter what I have looked like—to the man who has, more often than not, believed in me more than I have believed in myself—“Happy Father’s Day.”…I love you, Daddy.

And to everyone—I wish you Love, peace and understanding on this holiday…Happy Father’s Day…

Much love and many blessings!


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34 comments

  1. The Bible says judge not lest ye be judged Deotha is full of hate and disrespect, I am sure there are skeletons in her closet and to all who are drowning in negativity. My mother use to tell us if you can’t say something nice then say nothing at all, we are sometimes like crabs in a barrel trying to keep each other from being free!!! support the good that we do for all have fallen short of perfection but it is better to do something positive and helpful than to sit in your chair and throw the same darts at others that Satan throws at you every day~~~!!

  2. A beautiful tribute to a wonderful civil rights giant I truly appreciate all those who put their lives on the line for a better humanitarian experience on this side of humanity. Unfortunately there are always those who accentuate the negative even on a positive occasion, Denotha you should not throw stones because you are not perfect and someone will be slamming you just the way you put water on Jessie Jacksons parade
    for all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God but few have stood out for our causes such as the Jessie Jacksons, and the Malcomb Xs and the Martin Luther Kings, none of them were perfect but they cared enough to put their lives on the line for our causes!!

  3. You all should remember this: President Obama, Dr. King, Revs. Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Bill Cosby, etc. — these people are first and foremost MEN, HUMAN BEINGS with flaws,just like we all have. They are not to be idolized or put on pedestals because they are not perfect beings. They will make mistakes, they will sin, but hopefully are saved by their faith in God. Sure, they can be “role models” and nationalists, and community builders, but none of us is infallible. When we stumble or fall, we have to be spiritually connected to God in order to STAND again.
    I appreciate all the men/fathers who take the role of parenting seriously! More power to Rev. Jackson!

  4. Read and think!!!!!

    Mr. Jessie Jackson is a huge figure in the Civil/Human Rights world wide. On the other side , he a provider, father, friend and a host of many other things to his family. Great man and he should be respected one. Go Jessie Jackson.!

  5. deotha woodburn

    And to all of u,who knows very little about,either movements, the civi rights,or black power movement, u should have been there, for it wil never happen again, so u see i am t truly blessed, more so then,.u will ever be,and i have viable proof,that wil be expose soon enough. thank u casey, and corbin 56. the truth shall set u FREE. jj will see our ancestors passing through, he then, will have to take responsibility, for not taking, responsibiity. as Yahweh, reads, to whom the who knows,the right thing to do, and fails to do it, to him it is sin.

  6. I feel the same way about my Daddy, may he continue to rest in peace!!

  7. Great story! You must salute any and everyone who ever stood up against oppresion and civil rights. We don’t feel it until something happens to one of us or our family members then we wish Jesse & Al Sharpten would show up and show out for justice! Bring the News crews and everything. I have a friend name Erl in NJ who was picked up by the police and sprayed with mace in the jail cell and because he had asmha he died! They picked up for mistaken identity in the first place, Jessie and Al came to his defense and Erls family was awarded 3million dollars! It doesn’t bring him back but it does create some ease for the family! I grew up with my dad missing and I salute any dad who stayed to raise there child! Any body hating on that is simply stupid,we all need guidance and it starts at home!

  8. Good tribute but you misquoted on this issues. Jessie Jackson did not alone pave the way for Barack Obama,even before Obama though of runing for presndiency, Martin Luther King Jr. opened up the doors by fighting for voters right for blacks. He was a giving man, never charged thousnds of dollars to speak to poor blacks. He paid his own way. There were other warriors before Jesse Jackson was born. Lies are transparent. Stop lying and tell the truth. Yo aer in the dark on a lot of issues. Clear up the serious one…. Daddy did not o pen up doors for Barack Obama. That started with Fredrick Douglas. along progcess my dear.

    • Dang Marsha! What did Jesse do to you? She didn’t say that he alone paved the way… she’s just proud that her daddy was one of the people that did. Ease up

  9. Didn’t Jesse have a daughter from a four year affair with a staff member. I think her name is Ashley. He pays 4000 bucks a month child support. Oh and don’t bill cosby have a child out of wedlock too. And these pricks have the balls to act hollier thou. What hypocrites. Your black world is as misleading as the national enquire. I expected more than a sanitized version of the grio. Where have the real black race gone. We have become our worst enemy by believing in manufactured b.s..

    • Mr. King, Are you without sin? Have you not fornicated in life? What Mr. Jackson’s daughters do to you exactly? Grow up yow just wanted to hear your own words, like Ms. Woodburn! Black to learn how to respect one another no matter who they are! excuse my spelling which would probably be your comment on me. God loves all His no matter what they do! Next question are you one of His children? Life is too short to be so mean spirited. One life, one love. Think about it. Peace out and a blessed life with the emphasis on Blessed. Youre to be here today or any other day. take the time and say thank you Father and Jesus! for if it were not for Jesus you certainly would not be here! Smile it wont hurt!

  10. Precious memories. Thanks for sharing your daddy with us. Without him, our struggle would have been much more difficult and shallow.

  11. Keep speaking truth to power Deoltha.
    And if Santita’s last name was not Jackson, she would be lucky to get a clerk job at WalMart.

    What a way to spend father’s day – one bazterd child out in California he is not paying child support for, another child about to go to prison for emulating his father.

    • deotha woodburn

      Hi casey. i made the statement that i made, because i lived during that era. i can talk about what i and my people experienced, and by the grace survived. Most of the responders, on this site, wasn’t even born, or maybe was not even in this country, during the civil rig hts movement. i was. so u see 50 years ago i walk it, my family, walked it,and now i can talk it. people can always try and give their opinon som about something, but experience, as my late aunt used to say, experience, is the best teacher. thank u for your response. and in reference to one of the other responses , just look around u, and see al our negro men,.young and older out of work,.in prisons, barely trained for anything, our young sisters, lost,and confused. What happened to all the civil rights anti-poverty programs went to. the affirmative action programs, quality education, homeownership, civil servant jobs. etc,etc,etc. and as for the person that said i eas going to hell, she has her information wrong,she must have been looking in the mirror. if anyone want to know, somewhat who i am, and what i am about just put my name in the computer. i am, who i am.

  12. only another father can understand this kind of love and appreciation. It’s so wonderful to hear a daughter speak of her dad in this manner. I wish that all children would see their dads this way with love and endearment.

  13. Come on, let’s not jump all over Deotha Woodburn. What this individual has done was simply speak the truth.

    Deotha, you forgot to mention that he is a fornicator (in the worse way). So was MLK. Birds of a feather…

    Deotha Woodburn, PREACH!!

  14. Well said…

  15. I have always admired Jesse Jackson for being such a self confident young man, who in his young mind years ago, thought that he could become the first Black president of the United States which was unheard of. He did so much good in helping us to actually get President Barak Obama in the White House by getting out and tirelessly registering black and and other ethnicities to vote. He made people feel that they were somebody even if they were poor or uneducated. He made us feel that even if we were born in the slum, the slum mentality did not have to dwell within us. Jesse Jackson made us proud. He has always been a soldier for human and civil rights. I always felt that if Jesse was involved in crisis situations, everything would be okay, and most of the time it was. I still admire Jesse for his determination to seek justice and peace. I know he has gone through his share of personal problems, but we all have. Thank you Sanita, for this article, and I hope your father has a Happy Father’s Day.

  16. I have always admired Jesse Jackson for being such a self confident young man, who in his young mind years ago, thought that he could become the first Black president of the United States which was unheard of. He did so much good in helping us to actually get President Barak Obama in the White House by getting out and tirelessly registering black and and other ethnicities to vote. He made people feel that they were somebody even if they were poor or uneducated. He made us feel that even if we were born in the slum, the slum mentality did not have to dwell within us. Jesse Jackson made us proud. He has always been a soldier for human and civil rights. I always felt that if Jesse was involved in crisis situations, everything would be okay, and most of the time it was. I still admire Jesse for his determination to seek justice and peace. I know he has gone through his share of personal problems, but we all have. Thank you Sanita, for this article, and I hope your father has a Happy Father’s Day.

  17. what a beautiful tribute your dad. i think people should be thankful just because people like Mr. Jackson had the courage to stand up against the meanness of America.the fact that he still is here is a beautiful thing. disregard the person who said so not nice words. thats all they were! god bless you and all the wonderful dads out there. fathers day is everyday.

  18. He’s still pushing on for Just-us. So I’m going to wish him Happy Fathers Day. And hope he’s continue to fight for justice.Martin, and Malcolm wasn’t perfect either. Men with great power was looking over there shoulders with a gun…even our president Barack Obama, has to do what he’s is told…..check out RainbowPush.org and be inspired.

  19. Sanita, that was a beautiful tribute you paid to your dad. Thanks for sharing it and btw please don’t be disturbed by the comments of Deotha Woodburn because she’s on her way to hell and will be in the devil’s VIP section.

  20. Awesome tribute to a father. Rev. Jesse Jackson has given so much of himself to make this world a better place. It brought me to tears.

  21. deotha woodburn

    B.S. jj is a sellout. this chick talks about her dad, like he was so great. all he did was ride the back of Dr. King. he sold Dr. king’s people,and sucked the blood of all the americans , black and whites,that layed down their lives,for americans negros. jackson ‘s son is the ultimate statement of who the
    the real jesse jackson is. smoke and mirrors. i know Dr. king’s heart is broken,when he sees how is people are suffering,and all this sellout , can murmur,is keep hope alive,what a joke, and a insult, to the memory of Dr.King. jackson is a farce,and a coward, and nothing, no matter what his daughter, thinks of him. Dr.king, and so many others, did not pay the price, with their lives, to make live good, and become a superstar

    • Deotha,
      You are sad sad person. For you to not acknowledge the humanity and the value of the work of Reverend Jesse Jackson is the same element that stifles the development. Pray that you are fulfill your life’s mission.

      • even an insincere effort is better than none at all.What have you done.To simply criticize is not enough if you see people that are enemies of the people betraying our agenda expose them publicly with credible info especially if you are saying insulting truths.I applaud your courage, however submit facts we want and need to know.

    • I agree with you. Civil rights pimps i, not o ky hom, but many others.

    • Like I said to your agreeing responder cobin56, I say the same to you,” when you throw dirt you will have dirty hands” However I wish for you that you both have dads you can also be proud of. Happy Fathers day to them!!!

      One Love!!!

    • Ms. Woodburn, though you , yourself might be a saint we have never heard mention of you during this era because i was there too. All men were created in sin. If you have not siined or (fornicated) shut up! In the words of an even greater man, he that is without sin, let him cast the first stone. Im sure you have done your sure. This was not a good time for your bad taste in comments on fathers day or any other day. By the way, was your father a saint? Give credit where credit is do! Mr. Jackson is human and to err is human. When you and people like you stop saying mean things the world will become a better place! peace out and have a blessed life with emphasis on Blessed.

  22. GREAT STORY OF YOUR LIFE. IT IS GOOD TO HEAR SOMEONE REMEMBER THE GOOD THAT A FATHER BROUGHT INTO HER LIFE.

  23. What a beautiful tribute! You all have been tremendously blessed!

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