Exemplary service to the Richmond community
Fred Jackson , seated in a wheelchair, was honored by the Richmond City council for the many years that he stood up for the neighborhoods and the people who were afraid to stand.
“Whatever I am, whatever I hope to be, I owe it to my family,” said the 73 year-old North Richmond organizer and community leader.
Though he is fighting his case of liver cancer , he let the council know that with his weakened voice he would continue to fight when he drew laughs when he said, “If I see someone who is hungry, and I elect to pray for them first rather than feed them, you bite me, you hounds of conscience. Now, I’ve been bitten many times.”
Mayor McLaughlin read a proclamation commending him for his “exemplary service to the community.”
“Fred Jackson continually demonstrates his deep love of humanity across all races and ethnicities, which he endearingly refers to as ‘the human bouquet,’” McLaughlin said.
“If I see someone who is hungry, and I elect to pray for them first rather than feed them, you bite me, you hounds of conscience,” Jackson said, nodding and tapping one foot for emphasis. “Now, I’ve been bitten many times,” Jackson said, drawing laughs from the crowd of about 100 people.
Jackson an activist, author, playwright, artist and poet, couldn’t have written a better salute to himself than the entire Richmond community wrote and spoke on behalf of the “gifts he gave the city”.
Councilman Corky Booze said, “When we talk about Black History, we talk about Fred Jackson.,”
Whereas, February is Black History Month and a time when we emphasize the importance of honoring the many accomplishments and contributions of African Americans to our society; and
Whereas, Fred Davis Jackson is a peacemaker, community-builder, writer and educator who has lived in Richmond ever since moving here from Mississippi in the 1950’s and who has profoundly influenced the lives of countless people in our community; and
Whereas, Fred Jackson continually demonstrates his deep love of humanity across all races and ethnicities, which he endearingly refers to as “the human bouquet”; and
Whereas Fred Jackson is an inspiration to all who are seeking to overcome challenges, whether through words of sincere encouragement one-on-one or through his exhilarating oratory at public meetings; and
Whereas, as a peace and social justice activist, Fred Jackson sat in at lunch counters in the South during the 1960’s Civil Rights movement; participated in the walk from San Pablo to Sacramento with March4Education and then fasted for 19 days with Fast4Education for more equitable school funding in 2004; has been a constant anti-death penalty advocate; was a leader in the movement to save the life of Stanley “Tookie” Williams, who was executed in 2005; is a promoter of violence prevention initiatives and books by Stanley “Tookie” Williams; supported the 2006-2008 Tent City Peace Movement vigils in Richmond, was a recipient of the 2000 Peacemaker Award in Contra Costa County; and
Whereas, as a community-builder, Fred Jackson, together with Pastor Tommy Bradford and Paul Foster, donated a parcel of land which enabled the City of Richmond, the Labor of Love Community Development Corporation and related companies to establish the Trinity Plaza housing complex for low-income seniors at Macdonald Ave. and 4th St.; and was named a “Hometown Hero” by the Bay Area News Group in 2010; and
Whereas, as a writer, Fred Jackson wrote, directed and produced the play Brother Dap at the Richmond auditorium in 1994, wrote a novel An Evolution in Black and White; wrote his soon to be published reflections Thoughts Set Free on the Wings of Expression; and has written and performs numerous songs, including “One Step at a Time”, “Too Early Too Young”, and “When the Ozone is Gone”; and
Whereas, as an educator, Fred Jackson has worked for many years at Neighborhood House of North Richmond on lead abatement, HIV education, the H.E.A.L. (Healthy Eating Active Living) collaborative; was a trainer in 2007-2008 of the Peace Empowerment Process for the World Wall for Peace at Helms Middle School, Crescent Park Multicultural Center, and Chris Adams Center; and this year introduced a Health Covenant uniting the community and church in a fight against diabetes; and
Whereas, the above mentioned accomplishments are but a few examples of the full range of contributions Fred Jackson has made to our community; and Whereas, Fred Jackson is well-loved and respected throughout Richmond and the Bay Area by his friends, family, fellow activists and the full cross-section of people of all ages, races, ethnicities, genders and political beliefs who have the pleasure of interacting with him;
Now, therefore be it resolved, that I, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin, on behalf of the Richmond City Council, do hereby proclaim the City of Richmond’s deep appreciation for the countless accomplishments and contributions that Fred Davis Jackson has made to our community; and Be it further resolved, that we encourage all residents to join with Fred Jackson in continuing to build a better, healthier, more peaceful and socially just Richmond.