Throwback Thursday: Rep. Andre Carson Remembers Grandma

The Indiana congressman had no idea on this day that he would follow her path.

Posted: 06/12/2014 08:30 AM EDT

(Photo: Courtesy of Rep. Andre Carson)

"I sat at her feet and I miss her dearly," says Rep. André Carson (D-Indiana) of his grandmother, Julia Carson, whose congressional seat he filled after she died in 2007. During the time they spent in her garden on this day and in years to come, Carson had no inkling that he would succeed her in Congress, but still, he recognized that the lessons he learned from her would be as if not more important than the ones being taught at school.

"She was certainly an example, but I think it was her authenticity that resonated with many people. She had an opportunity to move out of a neighborhood that had been infested with crack and heroin, but she decided to stay … and built a basketball court," Carson told BET.com. "I remember she had a deal with the kids in the neighborhood that if they would clean up the alleyways and the streets, she would raise the money to take them all to King's Island, the sister to King's Dominion. And she did that. That's the kind of investment that she made. When she became a township administrator, she hired a lot of the neighborhood and community kids to get them away from gang life. And it was that kind of nurturing and mentoring that I got from her."

Follow Joyce Jones on Twitter: @BETpolitichick.

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