Jackson hopes to bring ‘dignity’

Published 12:00 am Sunday, October 31, 1999

The Rev. Jessie Jackson spoke in Natchez Sunday and urged residents to take a stand for dignity Tuesday by voting.

The stop was part of a three-day trip by Jackson to proclaim Tuesday &uot;Dignity Day&uot; and to rally voter- turnout in Mississippi.

&uot;If you plant your seed and don’t pick up the wild grass you will keep on not having a a crop,&uot; Jackson said. &uot;We need to do something different Tuesday.&uot;

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Jackson named Tuesday &uot;Dignity Day&uot; because Americans need to claim their right to vote.

&uot;Most people don’t have the right to vote in the world today,&uot; Jackson said. &uot;But we can, so it’s a matter of dignity.&uot;

A crowd of concerned residents filed into Christian Hope Baptist Church Sunday to listen to the famed civil rights leader. Jackson asked them to miss work Tuesday so they could spend time reminding friends to vote.

&uot;We shall vote and work on Tuesday (and) our work will make a difference,&uot; he said.

And this election is crucial to the future of America, Jackson said.

&uot;The year 2000 race begins in Mississippi,&uot; Jackson said. &uot;Mississippi can set the pace of the nation on this coming Tuesday.&uot;

Jackson said the focus of the election is Mississippi’s future and its need for economic development. Mississippi needs more than casinos and jails for industry,

&uot;Mississippi deserves more and we have the right to vote for that on this coming Tuesday,&uot; Jackson said.

He reminded the mostly African-American crowd of their successes.

&uot;Hands once denied the right to vote, hands that once picked cotton now can pick governors,&uot; Jackson said.

But he stressed the true issue for Mississippi is not race.

&uot;White and blacks must fight together to save their jobs,&uot;&160;Jackson said.