In Chicago, Sanders found his place in civil rights movement

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., speaks during a meeting with volunteers at Iowa State University, on Sunday, Jan. 31, 2016, in Ames, Iowa. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

CHICAGO (AP) — As Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton jockey for support ahead of Saturday’s South Carolina Democratic primary, much of the debate has centered around who has a stronger record of fighting for minority rights.

The issue could be especially important in South Carolina, where the state’s black population is nearly twice the national average.

In their last primary contest in Nevada, a big majority of blacks supported Clinton amid questions about Sanders’ early commitment to civil rights.

But an Associated Press review of contemporaneous news coverage and interviews with former classmates finds that Sanders was at least a local civil rights leader in the 1960s, taking action on campus and in Chicago neighborhoods at a time when such activities were primarily happening in the South. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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