Hundreds March To Highlight Urban Disparities

Rev. Jesse Jackson leads a march of hundreds to highlight challenges facing American cities.
August 7, 2003, 2pm PDT | Connie Chung
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Jesse Jackson led 400 protesters in a march to highlight "joblessness and hopelessness and the abandonment of American cities." The protest took place in Benton Harbor, MI, where there is a 25% unemployment rate and 60% dropout rate among middle and high school students. "Surrounded by singing and clapping demonstrators--some of them bused from Chicago--Jackson described Benton Harbor as 'a city in crisis' and added that the crisis is a 'metaphor for abandoned urban and rural people everywhere.'" The marchers say they came to Benton Harbor "to call attention to the 'huge disparity in incomes and opportunity' between the troubled, predominantly black city of 12,000 on the eastern shore of Lake Michigan and neighboring St. Joseph, an upscale, predominantly white city where unemployment is now less than 2 percent, according to state figures." The mayor of Benton Harbor welcomed Jackson's presence, saying that "he has an ability to change the way people think."

Thanks to Connie Chung

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Published on Tuesday, August 5, 2003 in The Chicago Tribune
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