Rev. Jesse Jackson is recovering after taking a spill and cutting his head while meeting with student protesters at Howard University on Monday, according to his daughter. The civil rights icon has been offering guidance and support to students at the famed HBCU while they demand an improvement to their living conditions on the campus in Washington, D.C.
Students are in their third week of protests over issues like mold found in dormitories and certain administrative policies.
Jackson, 80, was returning from meeting with Howard University administration officials to meet with students and let them know how the conversation went when he fell and hit his head on the pavement, suffering what was described as a “cut,” according to the Grio, which first reported the accident. He was rushed to the hospital for treatment and further observation. But according to his daughter, Jackson is healing up nicely.
“Family, he’s resting comfortably & doing well: we thank u 4 ur prayers!” Sanita Jackson tweeted. “Fighting 4 u is what he’ll always do.”
In an apparent reference to the Grio reporting that Jackson “secured a verbal agreement from Howard University’s administration to allow students to end their protest without facing expulsion,” Sanita Jackson added: “His goal is 2 ensure the well-being of@HowardU students: #MissionAccomplished.”
Jackson also reportedly got Howard to guarantee that it would check all dorm rooms suspected of having mold, which can cause serious health problems.
The Rainbow Push Coalition, a nonprofit political and social justice organization founded and led by Jackson, offered a similarly positive outlook for the reverend.
“When Rev. Jackson entered a building on campus, he fell and hit his head. His staff took him to the Howard University Hospital where various tests were run including a CT scan,” Rainbow Push Coalition told CNN in a statement. “The results came back normal. However, hospital officials decided to keep Rev. Jackson overnight for observation.”
Howard University also confirmed Jackson was hospitalized and said its President Dr. Wayne A.I. Frederick met with him Monday night. “Our prayers are with the Jackson family,” the university tweeted.
Jackson has had an eventful past few months, including being hospitalized for COVID-19 along with his wife in late August. About two months earlier in June, Jackson was arrested by the U.S. Capitol Police for protesting Senate Republicans filibustering voting rights legislation after restrictive election laws were enacted in several key states.
Jackson’s tireless efforts fighting for civil rights continued this past weekend at Howard University, where he urged students to “never surrender.”
“Students should not be punished but appreciated for standing up for justice,” Jackson also reportedly said.
Expounding upon that same sentiment, Jackson reportedly said during a town hall on campus Sunday night, “This is not a legal issue, this is a moral issue.”
The protest first began as a sit-in on Oct. 12 when students spent the night in the Blackburn Center to get university leadership to heed their complaints about a “housing crisis” for students as well as the university’s board of trustees, among issues.
The protest sparked a viral #BlackburnTakeover hashtag that populated social media timelines with photos, video footage and first-person testimonials from inside and outside of the Blackburn Center in a demonstration of solidarity against the university administration.