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Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy and the Black Vote

The presidential election of 1960 dramatically changed American politics -- from media coverage to voting habits. From the producers of Oscar Micheaux The Czar of Black Hollywood

In 1960, John F. Kennedy asked Harris Wofford to join his presidential campaign and work on winning over the "Negro vote".

When Martin Luther King, Jr. was imprisoned shortly before the election, Wofford persuaded Kennedy to call King's wife, Coretta Scott King , who faced the specter of her husband sentenced to hard labor in a Georgia prison for a minor traffic violation while she was in an advanced stage of pregnancy.

This prompted Martin Luther King, Sr. (Daddy King) to switch his endorsement from Richard Nixon to Kennedy.

JFK's team actually opposed this move in fear of criticism from Southern political leaders.

That Kennedy had called King's wife was subsequently leaked and shifted the African American vote in Kennedy's favor nationally, to which many attribute his slim victory over Nixon.

"King, Kennedy and the Black Vote" is taken from IN THE HOUR CHAOS (2016), which documents the life and times of the Martin Luther King Sr. (aka Daddy King). Part 1 is now available to stream on kweli TV and Vimeo |