First, and foremost, I met the great Jackie Robinson at PS 81 on a campaign stop for Hubert H. Humphrey (the “Happy Warrior” who lost to Nixon). This was less than a year before Jackie’s death (at my current age!). There was something so very majestic about him – a much larger man than I expected, with white hair, and nearly blind.
I met Stokeley Carmichael (later known as Kwame Ture), the father of “Black Power,” in an English class at the Bronx High School of Science. He had graduated Science 10 years earlier, so what he was doing sitting in class I’ll never know – he didn’t talk to anyone.