JFK Voices: Choosing Sides In The Tumultuous 1960s
Larry Allums was a freshman at Auburn University in Alabama when he heard the news of President Kennedy's assassination. Coming from the Deep South, Allums has had to come to terms with the tumultuous social climate as well as the traditionalist views of his parents in a time where neutrality wasn't an option.
On the charged atmosphere coming from Alabama:
"I was from Mobile, [Ala.], and in 1963 it was a very critical year for the Deep South, especially in Birmingham. We were torn. There were many people who were against Kennedy. The 60s was a time if you were of an age, like I was, you kind of had to take sides. It was hard, hard to be neutral."
On coming to terms with differing viewpoints:
"My parents were very traditional. They grew up Protestant. My father had a deep sense of right and wrong, but he was not at all certain that [racial] integration was a good thing. Do I blame him? No…I don’t, because he really was a person of his age and I could see him struggling with those things."