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11/22/2013 12:53 pm ET

50 Years Later: JFK's Effects On African Americans & The Youth Vote

28th August 1963:  American president John F. Kennedy in the White House with leaders of the civil rights 'March on Washingto
28th August 1963: American president John F. Kennedy in the White House with leaders of the civil rights 'March on Washington' (left to right) Whitney Young, Dr Martin Luther King (1929 - 1968), Rabbi Joachim Prinz, A. Philip Randolph, President Kennedy, Walter Reuther (1907 - 1970) and Roy Wilkins. Behind Reuther is Vice-President Lyndon Johnson. (Photo by Three Lions/Getty Images)

I grew up in a family of storytellers. Around our dinner table, stories of 1950′s 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.

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