Katie Sherrod was 16 when President John F. Kennedy was killed. She shares her memory of a small town united in front of the TV, wracked with sorrow. But she goes on to describe the Dallas she came to know as a journalist and producer - and a Texas she sees now, which has forgotten the need to stick together.
On huddling around TV news after the assassination:
I was 16 when Kennedy was killed. The news hit Permian High School like a blast. I mean, it was like a sonic boom traveling through that school. You could see the instant people knew. People were bursting into tears. I mean, it was amazing.
And then of course we went into this weekend of shared mourning because at that time there were only three television channels. And in some places, less than that. So we were all watching the same thing at the same time.
City of Hate vs. City of Fear:
When I moved to Fort Worth and began journalism work and began to go over to Dallas and talk to people over there. It became clear to me that Dallas – not so much a city of hate – but a city of fear. There was so much fearfulness – fearfulness of the other, fearful of people who didn’t look like me, who didn’t worship like me, who loved differently than I do.
On fear in the rhetoric of Texas’ elected officials:
This rugged individualism that scorns community is very scary. And I would hate to see that shadow rise again.