Jesse Jackson’s Run for the Presidency (1984)

Be Woke Presents Black History in Two Minutes (or so)

In 1983, Reverend Jesse Jackson launched his bid for president of the United States. This announcement sparked excitement from people who had grown to adore the Civil Rights leader. While he wasn’t the first African-American candidate, his presence and decision to run was monumental.

Rev. Jackson hit the campaign trail, building his brand, lifting children, and running on a clear narrative and agenda. However, despite his growing appeal in the black, white and LGBT community, many black political leaders did not endorse him. In the end, Jesse Jackson did not obtain the democratic nomination for president, but he did receive over three million votes and paved the way for other black political leaders to exist.

In this episode of Black History in Two Minutes or So hosted by Henry Louis Gates Jr. — with additional commentary from Kimberlé Crenshaw of UCLA and Columbia law schools, political strategist Donna Brazile and Civil Rights activist Rev. Al Sharpton — we celebrate Rev. Jackson and his fight to have a seat at a table that wasn’t quite ready to serve him.

Black History in Two Minutes (or so) is a 2x Webby Award winning series.

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Archival Materials Courtesy of:
Alamy Images
Associated Press
Getty Images

Executive Producers:
Robert F. Smith
Henry Louis Gates Jr.
Dyllan McGee
Deon Taylor

Produced by:
William Ventura
Romilla Karnick

Music By:
Oovra Music

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