Beto O\'Rourke Steps Up Outreach To Black Voters With Southern Dallas Rally

Though still not as popular as he is with white Democrats, O'Rourke is better known in Dallas' black neighborhoods than he was earlier this year.

"He's not afraid to address the issues that African-Americans care about," said former DeSoto Mayor Carl Sherman Sr., who is the Democratic nominee for Texas House District 109 in DeSoto. "He's a combination, in my opinion, of former President Barack Obama and Robert Kennedy. When African-Americans see him, they fall in love."

The Good Street Baptist Church is also symbolic of O'Rourke's call for Texans to unite in an effort to reform the criminal justice system, improve education and create good-paying jobs for all citizens.

On April 22, 1956, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. gave a Youth Day sermon at the church, now 134 years old.  Good Street is believed to be the only Dallas church  where King preached during his time in the civil rights movement.

From 1950 to 2008 the congregation was led by the late C.A.W. Clark, one of the most prominent ministers and community leaders in Dallas. Civil rights leader Jesse Jackson Jr. made annual visits to the church during Clark's tenure.

O'Rourke told the crowd he would help lead a movement to reform the criminal justice system and overcome "racist" voter suppression laws.

"We need to vote in a new government that represents each and every one of us," he said.

The Dallas rally is part of O'Rourke's two-day swing through North Texas. He also has events planned in Denton and Plano.

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