Updated: Apr 26, 2022
"Have faith. Do that, which is right. And remember, that we are all on the same journey. We all want justice, love, peace, and happiness. So if you want it, give it to somebody else. Because that's what they want too."
At the end of this episode, I asked Mr. Abraham Bolden if he had any final words for our listeners. For over an hour, we listened to his story of patriotism and incomprehensible endurance and strength. This story of a country's betrayal, a country in which he loves and served, was one in which we have not seen the likes of before.
Anyone listening to the episode titled, “The Lynching of a United States Secret Service Agent,” can envision Mr. Bolden's journey, his special relationship with President John F. Kennedy, the obstacles he faced with segregation as a secret service agent, and the events that led to the assassination of a beloved president and friend, followed by the framing and imprisonment of Mr. Bolden, an innocent man.
As the host of Moses' People Speak, there are very few times that you will find me speechless. But when I asked Mr. Bolden for his final words, knowing the pain he has and continues to go through, knowing the defamation of his character has been under, knowing that he is still fighting for retribution, I found myself speechless, unable to fathom how a man who has experienced so much harm, can still leave us with such an inspiring message.
Learning About Abraham Bolden
In preparation for Mr. Bolden's interview, I read three items. First I read a Spartacus Educational Column titled "Abraham Bolden." This gave me a general snapshot of Mr. Bolden's story. The second thing that I read was an open letter written by Mr. Bolden himself titled, "The Lynching of a United States Secret Service Agent." This letter was addressed to President Donald J. Trump. After reading this open letter, I knew right then, this (The Lynching of a United States Secret Service Agent) would be the title of our talk. It outlines, from Mr. Bolden himself, the events that he identifies as a lynching of justice and freedom. Third, I read an interview done by a friend and NABLEO's information officer, Shawn Kennedy titled, "On Your Shoulders, We Stand. (p.12) which highlighted his personal experience and reminded us what responsibility is due to black law enforcement who wears the uniform."
For me, these three articles were just the beginning of an unbelievable story. After speaking with Mr. Bolden myself, I had to order his book, The Echo from Dealey Plaza: The true story of the first African American on the White House Secret Service detail and his quest for justice after the assassination of JFK.
One hour and twenty-six minutes weren't nearly enough time to touch his full life, but it gave us a glimpse of the injustice that he still faces today.
How Can People Watch A Lynching?
I wrote a piece, not so long ago titled, The Evolution of ‘Master-Slave Killing' in which I said,
"...to deal with healing, we have to acknowledge the wounds in the first place. I am afraid that still, in America, we lack the understanding of the development of our country's consciousness."
Abraham's story reiterates this point and the reason why I write this follow-up. Mr. Bolden shared with us on the show, as well as in his writings, the many wounds that he suffered for being an outspoken-Black secret service agent who dares to challenge the status quo.
"You are a N***er, you were born a N***er, and when you die you'll still be a N***er. You’ll always be nothing but a N***er, so ACT LIKE ONE," was a statement that was made to Mr. Bolden by his direct supervisor in law enforcement. So it is without a doubt that this same culture had no problem with framing and wrongfully imprisoning this man. No problem denying his due process. No problem with having a judge tell the jury that "in his opinion, the defendant was guilty," before they render a verdict.
I do not, nor will I ever allow "the times" to justify injustice. It was wrong then, and it is surely wrong now. But now I ask the question, why are we still standing around this lynched body? After all these years, all these presidents, why hasn't Mr. Bolden received a pardon?
President Joe Boden, we are calling on you to do what past presidents failed to do. Make a wrong, right. We are waiting for your signature on Clemency Case File Number: P191303.
About the author
Terry Watson is a professional speaker and trainer who specializes in the topics of disability equity in education, racial justice, and law enforcement. Mr. Watson has more than 15 years working in higher education and is the founder of Strategies for Justice and the host of Moses' People Speak.