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Because he kept hope alive and made the White House real 1941- Jesse Jackson laid the foundation for electing a black president, one of the signature achievements of the 21st century. Jackson’s are the biggest shoulders that Barack Obama stands on. This is not conventional wisdom, but it is true. It begins with Jackson’s decision to run for president himself in 1984, widely seen then as an act of symbolism and hubris. Black leaders had been discussing for years what it would take to seriously compete for the highest office in the land, to build on what Shirley Chisholm did...

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