Ayauna King-Baker loved Ben Carson's "Gifted Hands" memoir so much that she made her daughter Shaliya read it. So when Carson showed up in town to sign copies of his new book, King-Baker dragged the giggly 13-year-old along to the bookstore so they could both meet him.
To King-Baker, Carson's "up-by-your bootstraps" life story makes him a genuine celebrity worth emulating in the African-American community. But she's also a Pompano Beach Democrat watching Carson rise in the Republican presidential polls.
For King-Baker and many other African-Americans, the vast majority of whom are Democrats, there are two Carsons: One is a genius doctor and inspirational speaker and writer who talks of limitless horizons; the other is a White House candidate who pushes conservative politics and wishes to "de-emphasize race."
How they reconcile the two may help determine whether Republicans can dent the solid support Democrats have enjoyed in the black community for decades.