50 Years Later: JFK’s Effects on African Americans and the Youth Vote

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Originally posted on Atlanta Daily World:

NBC News: Special Report- The State Funeral of President John F. Kennedy

I grew up in a family of storytellers. Around our dinner table, stories of 1950s era Harlem flow freely, as my grandparents talk about coffee dates with James Baldwin and nights that included live sets at the Cotton Club with Billie Holiday. As a child, these stories were the norm, and I never had a question about why photos hung in our living room of three figures: Martin Luther King, Jr., Malcolm X, and former President John F. Kennedy.

Very early on, I learned Nov. 22, 1963  was a day of sadness and violence, uncensored and broadcast across the world, with no parental guidance label. It was real life. John F. Kennedy was killed in Dallas, TX, with the world watching.

My mother was only 6 years old when JFK was assassinated  50 years ago tomorrow, on a Friday afternoon. The impact of his short time in office had a…

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