IN TRIBUTE TO ERIC JACKSON: Unfolding Legacy for Murdered TSU Student
By Maya Ramsey
Meter Staff writer
JACKSON— As the death of Tennessee State University student Eric Jackson reaches the one month mark on Oct. 20, his legacy is still unfolding.
Scores of TSU students recently gathered for a candlelight vigil in the campus amphitheater for remembrance of Eric Jackson. Several classmates and members of the Generation of Educated Men (GEM), a campus organization, were in attendance.
A memorial service was held on Saturday, Sept. 26 at first Baptist Church in Jackson, TN. Jackson was laid to rest at Highland Memorial Gardens in Jackson, TN.
According to Metro Nashville Police, 21 year-old Jackson was sitting in his vehicle with an unnamed female passenger, behind a nearby library during the African Street Festival in Hadley Park, when the two gunmen approached him and ordered him to exit the vehicle. When Jackson attempted to drive away, the vehicle was caught on a utility pole wire. One of the gunmen opened fire and struck Jackson in the head. Jackson was taken to Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where he was later pronounced dead.
Eric Jackson was a native of Jackson and a member of GEM. Gabriel Gordon, a junior psychology major, and GEM brother of Jackson said, “That was my brother, cousin, friend, and business partner all in one, sometimes we would get into it, but love was always there, we did everything together.” Outside of being with his friends, Jackson spent much of his time shopping, looking at cars, watching sports, and actually had a hidden talent as a singer.
One of Jackson’s closest friends and GEM brother, junior Rod Glatt, a junior integrated marketing major, remembers him as a very motivated individual. Glatt says, “I thought of him as a real cool dude, very ambitious. I remember trips to the coffee shops and smoke shops where we would just collaborate and motivate each other, he kept me going. He was our spokesperson; he always made people see things from our perspective.”
According to Jackson’s hometown friend, Stephen Love-Wade, a sophomore pre-nursing major, TSU was not in Jackson’s original plans coming out of high school. Wade said, “He was my little brother, ever since I was his manager at Journey’s in 2009, I took him under my wing. I remember when he was in high school; he skipped school to go to the Polo Outlet because we were going to visit TSU, which is ironic because we didn’t know we would be going here.”
Jackson is remembered on the TSU campus as a go getter who never took no for an answer; a humble individual who always had the best interest at heart for his friends and loved ones. “If I had any last words to say to him, they would just be that I’m sorry and I love you, just watch over me, and know that if there was anything that I could’ve done to prevent this, I would’ve done it.” Golden says.
No one has been arrested in the case. Police did not have any further details on the suspects in Jackson’s murder. However, Jackson’s friends and family have said they will keep his legacy alive and seek justice for his killing.