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Jesse Jackson


Looking over my archives a while back, I realized I've been drawing Jesse Jackson for over thirty years. Like all of us, he's changed over time, and he has matured along with the civil rights movement he nurtured. My first drawing of him was as a young militant with an Afro, fist thrust in the air. Now, he has mellowed, and become one of the living monuments--some would say dinosaurs--of the struggle.

Again, like all of us, Jesse is a man with an abundance of flaws. But there is no denying that the ascent of a politician like Barack Obama (who was a small boy when Jesse was in the trenches) could not have been possible without the sharp elbows of men like Jackson who went before him, who never backed down when the odds seemed insurmountable. Whatever you think of Jesse Jackson or his methods, Obama's modern candidacy rests on the shoulders of people like him.

Now, it is Jackson's responsibility to himself, to his movement, and to his legacy to accept the gratitude and respect of those he has helped, and to pass the torch to the next generation with grace. It's just another challenge for a man who has faced many of them in a long and distinguished public life. I think he can handle it.

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Thank you for the way you handled this. What a beautiful piece!

The Honorable James David Manning has a great piece on YouTube.

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About the author
Chan LoweCHAN LOWE has been the Sun Sentinel’s first and only editorial cartoonist for the past twenty-six years. Before that, he worked as cartoonist and writer for the Oklahoma City Times and the Shawnee (OK) News-Star.

Chan went to school in New York City, Los Angeles, and the U.K., and graduated from Williams College in 1975 with a degree in Art History. He also spent a year at Stanford University as a John S. Knight Journalism Fellow.

His work has won numerous awards, including the Green Eyeshade Award and the National Press Foundation Berryman Award. He has also been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. His cartoons have won multiple first-place awards in all of the Florida state journalism contests, and The Lowe-Down blog, which he began in 2008, has won writing awards from the Florida Press Club and the Society of Professional Journalists.
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