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Alphonso Jackson: The Pinup and the Papa
[FINAL Edition]
The Washington Post - Washington, D.C.
Subjects: Politicians
Author: Blumenfeld, Laura
Date: Mar 21, 2006
Start Page: A.15
Section: A SECTION

Housing and Urban Development Secretary [Alphonso Jackson] had heard it before, but when [Jerell Blakeley] confronted him, Jackson said, he saw something rare. Blakeley seemed angry, like many young black men, but also "extra intelligent." Six months later, Jackson sent Blakeley a note. Three years and many conversations later, Jackson wrote him a reference to Howard University. By the end of Blakeley's first semester, Jackson had brought him to the White House.

"You think about your legacy when you get to be 60," Jackson said to Blakeley over a breakfast of eggs, bacon and sausage at the Hyatt on Capitol Hill one recent morning. The two men meet every few months. Jackson was escorted by security guards. Blakeley wore a $5 blazer and a $2 tie from a secondhand store. Blakeley is one of four children his single mother had with four men; for a while, he said, he lived in a homeless shelter.

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