Let me offer an early disclaimer. I know exactly who the Founders were. I know exactly the crimes
against humanity that they were responsible for and those they inherited and were not responsible
for. I do not spend time extolling the virtues of Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Adams, Mr. Franklin, and Mr.
Madison. Nothing in this work or in my experiment (my life’s work) can change the fact or alter the
history of the debasement of humanity that preceded the Declaration of Independence (1776), the
Constitution (1787), and the Bill of Rights (1791) they were a part of and the obvious fact that the
major accomplishment of the Founders’ theories about self-government did not apply to African
Americans and Native Americans, women, and specifically Black women in their thinking.
Still, there exists in their theological imagination infinite hope for their experiment. This work seeks
to identify the evidence that shows and suggests that some of them were aware of a grand
architectural experiment and design for the nation and its future.
Every cracked, broken, and imperfect vessel can be used to bring forward hope. I am a personal
witness to this fact of human existence.
Jacqueline Jackson promised her son, Congressman Jesse L. Jackson, Jr., that she would write him every day during his incarceration in prison while he served his thirty-month sentence. This book is an inspiring and moving selection of the letters she wrote him.
Together, they comprise a powerful act of love—nurturing and ministering to her son's heart, health, and mind and maintaining his essential connection with home. Frank, anecdotal, imbued with faith, and sometimes humorous, they offer intimate details from the family’s daily life, along with news of friends and the community and glimpses of such figures as Nelson Mandela, Winnie Mandela, and Mayor Marion Barry.
They also touch eloquently on issues of social justice, politics, and history, as when Mrs. Jackson recalls growing up in Jim Crow Florida, and they reflect the qualities, instilled by her own mother, that made her a role model for much of her life.
Ultimately, these letters offer a blueprint for why we have to support our families not just as they elevate but when they fall. This collection is Mrs. Jackson's contribution to healing during a time when our prisons are full and our communities are suffering. She provides the road map for ensuring that the individuals serving sentences understand that prison is where they are, not who they are and for helping them sustain the courage to keep hope alive.