Jackson attended Whitney M. Young Magnet High School in Chicago, where she was a National Merit Scholar. While interviewing for admission to Harvard University, Jackson was criticized by two alumni for her father’s political views. Though ultimately accepted to Harvard, she said of the school, “I didn’t feel it was the proper environment after that interview.”Jackson subsequently attended Howard University on a full merit scholarship. While at Howard University, Jackson became a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Following her time at Howard, Jackson worked as an aide to Illinois congressman Gus Savage.
Shortly after college, Jackson moved to New York to pursue a career in music. She spent over five years touring as a backup singer for Roberta Flack, and later performed with the Opera Ebony company.
In 1996, Jackson was asked by the family of Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown to perform at his funeral alongside Wynton Marsalis and the Howard University Chorale. The following year, Jackson performed the National Anthem at Bill Clinton’s second Presidential Inauguration.
In April 2012, Jackson began working as a political commentator on the Fox News Channel. She also hosts her own television show on The Word Network. Earlier, Jackson produced her father's show “Upfront with Jesse Jackson” on The Word Network.
Santita Jackson is the writer, co-host, and executive producer of the nationally syndicated radio show “Keep Hope Alive with Rev. Jesse Jackson.” She previously hosted “The Santita Jackson Show” on Chicago’s WVON1690 AM.
Jackson is a founding contributor at The Grio, an MSNBC website dedicated to African American news and opinion.