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.