Saturday, August 15, 2009
7016: Prince And The Rainbow/PUSH Revolution.
From The Chicago Sun-Times…
Jesse Jackson: A prince of a guy
IVORY COAST | Jesse Jackson shares ceremonial royal honors with Michael Jackson—but one notch higher
By Stefano Esposito, Staff Reporter
Assuming his baggage clears customs, the Rev. Jesse Jackson will return to Chicago today with a golden scepter, a crown and a royal title.
During a ceremony featuring bare-chested women, fresh goat’s blood and a tribal king, Jackson was bestowed with the ceremonial title of royal “dignitary” while visiting the village of Krindjabo in Ivory Coast this week.
“It’s a joyous occasion and a great honor,” Jackson said in a telephone interview Friday. “We are committed to working with the people in the village.”
But it hasn’t all been joyous for Jackson, who was visiting the west African nation promoting a fair and transparent national election, set for later this year.
Wife hurt in stage collapse
Shortly after giving a speech Thursday from a makeshift stage inside a packed soccer stadium in Abidjan, the country’s largest city, the stage collapsed. Jackson’s wife, Jacqueline Jackson, suffered a broken tibia, Jesse Jackson said.
“She took a very heavy hit because some of [the stage] collapsed on her, and her leg was pinned,” he said.
Jacqueline Jackson is returning to the United States in a cast and under the care of a doctor, courtesy of the government of Ivory Coast.
“The good news is we got excellent health care,” Jesse Jackson said.
In fact, even before Wednesday’s crowning, Jackson had been treated like royalty—traveling about the country in a 20-car motorcade and his public appearances drawing thousands of spectators.
Another Jackson—the late king of pop, Michael Jackson—was also crowned during a visit to Krindjabo in 1992, but those traveling with Jesse Jackson said the civil rights leader’s title was one notch above the musician’s.
As part of Wednesday’s crowning ceremony, one villager slit the throat of a goat and smeared the blood on his face.
After Michael Jackson’s death in June, Krindjabo villagers appealed unsuccessfully to the international media and the U.S. Embassy in Abidjan to have his body brought to Ivory Coast for a village burial.
As Jesse Jackson prepared to return home Friday, he wasn’t quite sure what he’d do with his royal regalia.
“I don’t know what I’d use it for in Chicago,” Jackson said. “But I’d put it on display at Rainbow/PUSH headquarters.”