Monday’s story about the two still-unidentified young black people who witnessed JFK’s assassination is not the only African-American connection to the murder of the 35th president.
The story of Abraham Bolden is another instance of how black Americans were marginalized in the history of JFK’s assassination.
Bolden, the first African-American in the Secret Service (appointed by JFK), attempted to tell the Warren Commission about a plot to assassinate Kennedy in Chicago on Nov. 2, 1963, and about general laxity of Secret Service protection. Some people say Bolden’s actions prevented the assassination of JFK in Chicago.
Not long after JFK was killed, Bolden was fired from the Secret Service. In 1964 he was charged with accepting a bribe from a Chicago counterfeiter who was the target of an investigation Bolden was working on. He was ultimately sentenced to six years in prison, despite the fact that one of the counterfeiters admitted at his own trial that he had perjured himself at the request of the prosecutor.
Bolden, who served three years in prison, says he was framed for the crime in order to discredit what he had to say about the Secret Service and Kennedy’s assassination.
Bolden’s story about the Nov. 2 plot was later corroborated by journalist Edwin Black in an article, “The Chicago Plot to Kill JFK,” published in the Chicago Independent in 1975.
Bolden’s description of Secret Service laxity around JFK has been confirmed in extensive interviews of JFK’s Secret Service agents conducted by author Vince Palamara.
Bolden told his story in his 2011 book, “The Echo From Dealey Plaza.”