Jonathan Peter Jackson is a man who I have the utmost respect for. He was born and raised in California and as a young man excelled at many things. The youngest of five children, he was academically gifted and portrayed leadership abilities like no other. Nicknamed ”The Man-Child” for his muscular physique, he would eventually land a job as the bodyguard for the famous Angela Davis. Jonathan always had a very close relationship with his family and to see his older brother, George Jackson, sit in prison took too much of a toll on the young soldier. On August 7, 1970, He would enter the Marion County Courthouse where Judge Haley, a well-known racist, was involved in the trial for a Black inmate, James McClain, accused of beating a prison guard. Two other inmates Ruchell Magee and William Christmas were also in the courtroom as witnesses for McClain.  Jonathan Jackson would draw his weapons and take Judge Haley hostage. After seeing what was happening, the three San Quentin Inmates would join Jonathan’s rebellion and take the prosecutor and three white jurors’ hostage as well. Jonathan’s plan was to use the hostages to take over a radio station and broadcast the inhumane prison conditions and demand the immediate release of his older brother and two other inmates. As they left the courthouse, Jackson screamed, “We Are Revolutionaries.” Unfortunately, the plan would not see fruition after a shoot-out with police would lead to their deaths. James McClain and William Christmas would both be killed at the end along with Jonathan Jackson who would shoot the Judge before his death. Jonathan Jackson is a true revolutionary who stood against injustice and racism. What intrigues me the most about him is he was only 17. At this young age, he made the decision to make a difference while most of us, at that age, are worried about much smaller things. His love for his older brother and his love for his people are truly remarkable.


“Revolution starts with the individual. It starts with a person making a personal commitment to do what’s right. You can’t turn someone into a revolutionary by making them chant slogans or wave guns. To understand revolution, you must be sound. Revolution is not imposed upon another, it is kindled within them. Revolution is not a philosophy, it is an activity.” MOVE

Written by @KingKwajo

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