CHICAGO (CBS) — Rev. Jesse Jackson and part of his family gathered at Rainbow/PUSH headquarters at 50th and Drexel on Tuesday to mark the 150th anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation.

Jackson’s son Jonathan teaches at Chicago State University – and he spoke to the gathering at Rainbow/PUSH like a history lecturer.

“Why do we need an Emancipation Proclamation?” he said. “America was born with a congenital birth defect. It professed freedoms for all – physical, political freedoms – but it enslaved some of its own citizens.”

“It’s a contradiction in terms. It’s paradoxical, if you will, to espouse freedom and harbor slavery,” he added.

Jonathan Jackson had been viewed as a potential candidate to run to replace his brother, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr., who resigned his congressional seat in November, but Jonathan has said he has no plans to run for political office.

Jesse Jr. resigned after missing several months due to treatment for bipolar disorder. His attorneys also have been negotiating a plea deal with federal prosecutors investigating possible misuse of campaign funds.

Watch & Listen LIVE