Reverend Jesse Jackson, Senior spoke to students at the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy Friday in Dallas.
The civil rights leader and activist said he stopped by to encourage the nearly 400 young men who attend the school.
“Inspire them to choose futures over funerals and future over death,” Jackson said. “To makes choice to choose the high road and avoid self-destructive violence.”
At the school’s morning meeting, Jackson told them stories about Martin Luther King Jr., and had them repeat sentences like, “I am somebody.”
Nakia Douglas, BOMLA’s principal, said this is a day his students won’t forget. He also called it one of the biggest days for the school since it opened three years ago.
Douglas said he met Jackson when he was a student and he has always remembered it.
“It was just as significant then to me as a student as it is now as an administrator,” Douglas said.
Students also said they were encourage by Jackson’s message.
“Mostly perseverance, just pushing through anything. Any circumstance that’s presented to you,” Timothy McCall, a junior at BOMLA, said.
BOMLA has students from the 6th grade to juniors in high school. Next year, the first senior class will graduate.