Alex in ’63 – an excerpt

Feeling hard-done-by after my chat with Loretta, I turned on the TV and sprawled on the couch. Instead of the usual afternoon movie, there was a special broadcast from Washington D.C. A huge crowd was standing in front of a statue of Abraham Lincoln.

I didn’t usually take notice of politics or news except when the Current Events magazines arrived at school, and our social studies teacher made us read articles and answer questions. Although, I have to say, last year the Cuban Missile Crisis grabbed everybody’s attention. We watched President Kennedy on TV when he told the Russians they had to dismantle their missile bases or else. No one was sure what was going to happen, except my schoolmate Kenny Street, who told us we didn’t need to do homework anymore. We were all gonna be dead in a few days.

The event I was watching now had to do with black people demonstrating for jobs and equal rights in America—their own country. I knew slavery ended a hundred years earlier, but what I couldn’t understand was why it was taking so long for them to be treated like regular people.


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