The Echo From Dealey Plaza: The True Story of the First African American on the White House Secret Service Detail and His Quest for Justice After the Assassination of JFK by Abraham Bolden Check catalog for availability.
This reads like an Oliver Stone screenplay and it’s begging to be adapted into a blockbuster movie by an enterprising Milwaukee Public Library reader. Here’s why:
It’s April 28, 1961. A young black Chicago Secret Service agent meets President John F. Kennedy at a post no other agent wants--the entrance to a McCormick Place basement bathroom. After a brief conversation, Kennedy asks Bolden to join the detail as the first black man to serve on the White House security team. (“Would you like to be the first Negro agent on the Secret Service detail, Mr. Bolden?”)
Bolden stands post directly outside the President’s office and shakes hands with Hubert Humphrey, Evelyn Lincoln, Pierre Salinger, and Bobby Kennedy. (Barry Goldwater is introduced but refuses to shake Bolden’s hand.) He recounts minding the adorable Caroline for an idyllic summer hour while President Kennedy takes a leisurely swim at Hyannisport.
It’s the sixties, so it’s no surprise that Camelot turns tragic and elegiac. Bolden soon becomes aware that his fellow Secret Service agents are racists who take an irresponsible approach to security, often surreptitiously slamming down liquor or taking drugs on the sly while on duty. Bolden tells the chief of the White House detail that if there is an attempt to assassinate the president, it will be successful because the agents will be in no condition to react.
Weeks later Kennedy visits Dallas.
This isn’t your average Warren-out-of–Commission/there’s-more-than-one-assassin-on-the-grassy-knoll tome. What ensues post-assassination is so sinister, I won’t be the only baby boomer who reads this and needs to sleep with a nightlight in a post-apocalyptic, empty world.
Submitted by Jane @ Martin Luther King Library