France-US relations

Jesse Jackson to be awarded France's Legion of Honour

American Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who once worked with Martin Luther King Jr for the cause of equal rights for African Americans, is to receive France's presitigeous Legion d'Honneur
American Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson, who once worked with Martin Luther King Jr for the cause of equal rights for African Americans, is to receive France's presitigeous Legion d'Honneur GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP/File

Veteran American civil rights activist Reverend Jesse Jackson will on Monday be awarded France's highest order of merit, the Legion of Honour, President Emmanuel Macron's office said. 

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"Jesse Jackson never stopped campaigning for peace, justice and fraternity. He is also committed to education and climate," Macron's office said Friday, adding that the ceremony would take place in the Elysee Palace. 

"The values promoted by Reverend Jackson are universal and are those of the Republic," it said, adding that Jackson had inspired several generations of activists and public leaders on several continents with his message rejecting "all forms of racism and exclusion".

Arrested

Baptist minister Jackson, 79, was a companion of Martin Luther King in the 1960s. 

After running for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984 and 1988, he was appointed by Bill Clinton as his envoy to Africa. 

Jackson announced in 2017 that he was suffering from Parkinson's disease. 

The illness doesn't prevent him to be politically active: three weeks ago, Jackson, currently with the Rainbow Push Coalition, and social justice activist Rev. William Barber II were briefly arrested during a Poor People's Campaign demonstration in Washington, demanding better voter rights. 

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