Rainbow PUSH Founder was expected at celebration of 82nd birthday
By Cheryl Smith
Atlanta — The evening went pretty much the way guests expected despite some disturbing news. It was still a celebration Friday Night as guests paid homage to Rainbow PUSH Founder, Rev. Jesse Jackson, Sr., and shared stories after Rainbow PUSH Board Chair Tricia “CK” Hoffler announced that the long-time civil right’s leader would not be attending because he had been admitted into the hospital.
As a hush fell over the ballroom at the Atlanta Hyatt Regency Hotel, Atty. Hoffler assured guests that Jackson was resting and his wife was with him.
At press time, no more information was available about Jackson’s condition.
The Jacksons were expected to be in attendance at the two-day conference “From Freedom to Equality: Breaking Barriers and Empowering Change,” which provided the opportunity to celebrate the long-time civil rights leader’s 82nd birthday and introduce the person he tapped to assume the leadership of the organization he founded more than 50 years ago.
The program went on as planned with Hoffler sharing a video about Jackson’s life, followed by words from media icon Xernona Clayton.
A close associate of the King Family, Ms. Clayton recounted how she met Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. when the young Jackson came to begin working with the movement in Georgia. She joked about her friend and expressed her joy over the selection of his successor, Dallas-based pastor Dr. Frederick D. Haynes III of Friendship-West Baptist Church; who is someone she had known for decades.
Since the announcement of his ascension to Rainbow PUSH leadership, Haynes has focused on the legacy of Jackson’s reign while also assuring supporters that the organization would remain vigilant, relevant and effective, just as it was under his predecessor.
Stay tuned for updates.