Former Boston mayoral candidate and city councilman Tito Jackson, 46, and his biological mother, Rachel E. Twymon, 59, recently shared publicly an emotional story about how they were reunited for the first time since 1975 — when she gave birth to him.
Twymon was 13 years old when she delivered, pregnant following a sexual assault by two men. Put up for adoption, her son was soon placed with Rosa and Herb Kwakuzulu Jackson, named Tito, and raised as their own.
In an interview with The Boston Globe, Twymon shared that in 2017, following his loss in Boston’s mayoral race, his focus changed from politics to filling in some holes about his life. With help from a social worker, he was able to track down his birth mother in 2018.
“When I first met her, I said, ‘Thank you’ [for having me],'” he recounted to the publication. “I couldn’t believe I finally met my biological mom.”
Twymon, whose familial experiences were documented more than once (in written form and on TV) regarding households impacted by school desegregation busing efforts in the ’70s and ’80s, was as interested in finding her son as he was in reuniting with her. Her own interest came after someone looking to do a play concerning her family’s history began questioning how she ended up pregnant at 12 and gave birth at 13. From there, she said she started thinking about the child she’d tried so hard to put out of her mind for so many years.
““How do you find a baby when you don’t know where to look?’’ she asked. “I knew I had a baby. I knew he was a boy.”
Playing back video recently of when mother and son finally met for The Boston Globe, both parties were emotional in the clip and while watching it.
“I stayed as strong as I could for as long as I could‚’’ she said, “Nobody wanted to help me.”
But she did finally receive some semblance of help with it coming from the social worker who aided Jackson in finding her. Now the two are making up for lost time. The Boston Globe was there as mother and son went over family photos and as he spent time with his two younger brothers, Michael and Stevin (a third, Arthur, died in 2010).
“This is a piece of my life that had been missing,’’ he told the publication. “There was a great deal of . . . trauma that I did not go through. There is a whole story of me that happened [long before now].”