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FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, walks around a table meeting with an assembly of Southern black mayors including Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and Virginia Mayor Levar Stoney, left, in Atlanta. Biden is leading the most diverse presidential field in history among black voters. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)
FILE - In this Nov. 21, 2019, file photo, Democratic presidential candidate former Vice President Joe Biden, right, walks around a table meeting with an assembly of Southern black mayors including Mississippi Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and Virginia Mayor Levar Stoney, left, in Atlanta. Biden is leading the most diverse presidential field in history among black voters. (AP Photo/John Amis, File)

2020

‘I know Joe’s heart’: Why black voters are backing Joe Biden

Such solid support helps explain why a 77-year-old white man is leading the most diverse presidential field in history among black voters.

After Kamala Harris challenged Joe Biden’s past opposition to school busing in a nationally televised Democratic presidential debate, the former vice president who prides himself on strong relationships in the black community was in an unfamiliar place, playing defense on race.

But Bebe Coker had a message for the man she’s known for decades: don’t back down. The 81-year-old education activist remembered the history differently than Harris’ portrayal, recalling black parents encouraging Biden to reject forcing black students to attend white schools.

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