Rev. Jesse Jackson’s Mother, Helen Burns Jackson, Dies at 91 in South Carolina


By Elisha Fieldstadt, NBC News


Civil rights activist Rev. Jesse Jackson’s mother, Helen Burns Jackson, died in a Greenville, South Carolina, hospital on Monday, according to Jackson and a family friend. She was 91.


“My loving mother … has made her transition to be with God,” Jackson wrote on Twitter along with a picture of the two of them in their Sunday best.


The South Carolina native passed away at Greenville Memorial Hospital, said Greenville County Councilwoman Xanthene Norris, who has known the family for decades. Norris, 86, said she and Burns both belonged to Springfield Baptist Church.


“She was a very talented young lady. She had a beautiful voice,” Norris told NBC News, adding that Burns was also “very smart academically.”


Burns had Jackson in 1941.


Burns loved to sing and cook and worked as a cosmetologist in her own shop until she retired, but her true passion was helping people, Jackson told the Greenville News days before his mother’s death.


“That’s mostly what I remember about Mother is some people would call and say, ‘I need my hair to be dressed, but I don’t have any money.’ She would say, ‘come on anyhow,'” he said.



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