I was 6 years old (in the first grade) when President Kennedy was assassinated. I remember adults crying, and the news on TV. I remember thinking that the motorcade was somewhere outside on FDR (East River) Drive. I looked out of the window trying to see the police cars, but our windows faced the opposite direction. I went across the hall to our neighbor’s apartment because their windows faced FDR drive; I didn’t see anything. I remember feeling sad and confused.
I was in the 5th grade (11 years old) when Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated. I remember feeling stunned and confused; I couldn’t imagine anyone disliking him enough to shoot him. After the initial shock, I decided that racism was never going to end. I couldn’t understand why someone could hate me simply because of the color of my skin; I found it difficult to reciprocate unprovoked hatred. I tried to use the event to try to stir personal feelings of hatred toward white people. Although the event was a turning point for me, I was not able use it to conjure feelings of hatred for white people in general.