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April 28, 1988
Black Quotidian: Everyday History in African-American Newspapers

April 28, 1988

On April 28, 1988, the Cleveland Call and Post endorsed Jesse Jackson for president. “Once in a while—once in a long while—a politician comes along with a real message; with the message which is able to energize thousands, and with the skills to present that message to the masses,” the editors wrote. “Jesse Jackson is that man for this hour, and he deserves the votes of Ohio’s Democrats for their nomination to the presidency of the United States.” The Call and Post editors were particularly impressed that “Jackson, more than any candidate, has attempted to link the American civil rights struggle with the fortunes of more than Blacks in this country and around the world, and his vision and perspective have helped change the political debate in this campaign season, whether the issue is South African policy, drugs, or the needs of the nation’s economic underclass.” (Click to view PDF.)

A month earlier, Call and Post writer Gilbert Price described how Jackson had emerged as the Democratic front-runner. “After a stunning, 2-1 victory over Massachusetts’ Governor Michael Dukakis in the Michigan caucuses, it is clear that Jesse Jackson, the ‘country preacher,’ is no longer merely preaching to the converted, but beginning to save a few souls.”

Call and Post editorial cartoon on April 14, 1988, featured a caricature of President George H. W. Bush cheerleading for Jackson: “Jesse, Jesse, he's my man, if I run against him who’ll care about IRAN!”

Dukakis defeated Jackson soundly in Ohio (63 percent to 27 percent) and went on claim the Democratic nomination. In August, the Call and Post published a letter to the editor from Harry Armstead, a black Cleveland resident. “True, Jesse Jackson did not win the nomination of the Democratic Party; but he did do something far more monumental,” Armstead wrote. “Because of his dogged campaign and stoic adherence to the dream of racial equality and social improvement for all the masses, his name was placed in nomination for the President of the United States. That nomination of a Black man for president is a singular milestone in American history because Blacks and all underprivileged Americans now have restrictions...We older Blacks and older members of other minorities truly relate to Jackson’s struggle, and, today, we find great joy in his triumph. Thank you, Reverend Jesse Jackson.”