Al Sharpton, 2016
Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr.
October 3, 1954
|Occupation||Baptist minister |
civil rights/social justice activist
Radio and television talk show host
Kathy Jordan (m. 1980)(separated in 2004)
Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr. (born October 3, 1954) is an American civil rights activist, Baptist minister, television/radio talk show host and a former White House adviser for President Barack Obama. In 2004, he was a candidate for the Democratic nomination for the U.S. presidential election. He hosts his own radio talk show, Keepin' It Real, and he makes regular guest appearances cable news television. In 2011, he was named the host of MSNBC's PoliticsNation, a nightly talk show. In 2015, the program was shifted to Sunday mornings.
Sharpton's supporters praise "his ability and willingness to defy the power structure that is seen as the cause of their suffering" and consider him "a man who is willing to tell it like it is." Former Mayor of New York City Ed Koch, a one-time foe, said that Sharpton deserves the respect he enjoys among black Americans: "He is willing to go to jail for them, and he is there when they need him." President Barack Obama said that Sharpton is "the voice of the voiceless and a champion for the downtrodden." A 2013 Zogby Analytics poll found that one quarter of African Americans said that Sharpton speaks for them.
His critics describe him as "a political radical who is to blame, in part, for the deterioration of race relations". Sociologist Orlando Patterson has referred to him as a racial arsonist, while liberal columnist Derrick Z. Jackson has called him the black equivalent of Richard Nixon and Pat Buchanan. Sharpton sees much of the criticism as a sign of his effectiveness. "In many ways, what they consider criticism is complimenting my job," he said. "An activist's job is to make public civil rights issues until there can be a climate for change."
- 1 Early life
- 2 Activism
- 2.1 Bernhard Goetz
- 2.2 Howard Beach
- 2.3 Bensonhurst
- 2.4 National Action Network
- 2.5 Crown Heights riot
- 2.6 Freddie's Fashion Mart
- 2.7 Amadou Diallo
- 2.8 Tyisha Miller
- 2.9 Vieques
- 2.10 Ousmane Zongo
- 2.11 Sean Bell
- 2.12 Dunbar Village
- 2.13 Reclaim the Dream commemorative march
- 2.14 Tanya McDowell
- 2.15 George Zimmerman
- 2.16 Eric Garner
- 2.17 Ministers March for Justice
- 3 Political views
- 4 Controversy
- 5 Personal life
- 6 Political campaigns
- 7 Television appearances
- 8 Books
- 9 See also
- 10 References
- 11 Further reading
- 12 External links
|“||What I do functionally is what Dr. King, Reverend Jackson and the movement are all about; but I learned manhood from James Brown. I always say that James Brown taught me how to be a man.||”|
|— Sharpton on Brown as a father figure.|
Alfred Charles Sharpton Jr. was born in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, New York City, to Ada (née Richards) and Alfred Charles Sharpton Sr. The family has some Cherokee roots. He preached his first sermon at the age of four and toured with gospel singer Mahalia Jackson.
In 1963, Sharpton's father left his wife to have a relationship with Sharpton's half-sister. Ada took a job as a maid, but her income was so low that the family qualified for welfare and had to move from middle class Hollis, Queens, to the public housing projects in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn.
Sharpton graduated from Samuel J. Tilden High School in Brooklyn, and attended Brooklyn College, dropping out after two years in 1975. In 1972, he accepted the position of youth director for the presidential campaign of African-American Congresswoman Shirley Chisholm. Between the years 1973 and 1980 Sharpton served as James Brown's tour manager.
|Wikinews has related news: Al Sharpton speaks out on race, rights and what bothers him about his critics|
In 1969, Sharpton was appointed by Jesse Jackson to serve as youth director of the New York City branch of Operation Breadbasket, a group that focused on the promotion of new and better jobs for African Americans.
Bernhard Goetz shot four African-American men on a New York City Subway 2 train in Manhattan on December 22, 1984, when they approached him and allegedly tried to rob him. At his trial Goetz was cleared of all charges except for carrying an unlicensed firearm. Sharpton led several marches protesting what he saw as the weak prosecution of the case.
Sharpton and other civil rights leaders said Goetz's actions were racist and requested a federal civil rights investigation. A federal investigation concluded the shooting was due to an attempted robbery and not race.
On December 20, 1986, three African-American men were assaulted in the Howard Beach neighborhood of Queens by a mob of white men. The three men were chased by their attackers onto the Belt Parkway, where one of them, Michael Griffith, was struck and killed by a passing motorist.
A week later, on December 27, Sharpton led 1,200 demonstrators on a march through the streets of Howard Beach. Residents of the neighborhood, who were overwhelmingly white, screamed racial epithets at the protesters, who were largely black. A special prosecutor was appointed by New York Governor Mario Cuomo after the two surviving victims refused to co-operate with the Queens district attorney. Sharpton's role in the case helped propel him to national prominence.
On August 23, 1989, four African-American teenagers were beaten by a group of 10 to 30 white Italian-American youths in Bensonhurst, a Brooklyn neighborhood. One Bensonhurst resident, armed with a handgun, shot and killed sixteen-year-old Yusef Hawkins.
In the weeks following the assault and murder, Sharpton led several marches through Bensonhurst. The first protest, just days after the incident, was greeted by neighborhood residents shouting "Niggers go home" and holding watermelons to mock the demonstrators.
In May 1990, when one of the two leaders of the mob was acquitted of the most serious charges brought against him, Sharpton led another protest through Bensonhurst. In January 1991, when other members of the gang were given light sentences, Sharpton planned another march for January 12, 1991. Before that demonstration began, neighborhood resident Michael Riccardi tried to kill Sharpton by stabbing him in the chest. Sharpton recovered from his wounds, and later asked the judge for leniency when Riccardi was sentenced.
National Action Network
In 1991, Sharpton founded the National Action Network, an organization designed to increase voter education, to provide services to those in poverty, and to support small community businesses. In 2016, Boise Kimber, an associate of Sharpton and a member of his NAN national board, along with businessman and philanthropist Don Vaccaro, launched Grace Church Websites, a non-profit organization that helps churches create and launch their own websites.
Crown Heights riot
The Crown Heights riot began on August 19, 1991, after a car driven by a Jewish man, and part of a procession led by an unmarked police car, went through an intersection and was struck by another vehicle causing it to veer onto the sidewalk where it accidentally struck and killed a seven-year-old Guyanese boy named Gavin Cato and severely injured his cousin Angela. Witnesses could not agree upon the speed and could not agree whether the light was yellow or red. One of the factors that sparked the riot was the arrival of a private ambulance, which was later discovered to be on the orders of a police officer who was worried for the Jewish driver's safety, removed him from the scene while Cato lay pinned under his car. After being removed from under the car, Cato and his cousin were treated soon after by a city ambulance (without visibly Jewish EMTs). Caribbean-American and African-American residents of the neighborhood rioted for four consecutive days fueled by rumors that the private ambulance had refused to treat Cato. During the riot black youths looted stores, beat Jews in the street, and clashed with groups of Jews, hurling rocks and bottles at one another after Yankel Rosenbaum, a visiting student from Australia, was stabbed and killed by a member of a mob while some chanted "Kill the Jew", and "get the Jews out".
Sharpton marched through Crown Heights and in front of the headquarters of the Chabad-Lubavitch Hasidic movement, shortly after the riot, with about 400 protesters (who chanted "Whose streets? Our streets!" and "No justice, no peace!"), in spite of Mayor David Dinkins's attempts to keep the march from happening.) Some commentators felt Sharpton inflamed tensions by making remarks that included "If the Jews want to get it on, tell them to pin their yarmulkes back and come over to my house."
Freddie's Fashion Mart
In 1995 a black Pentecostal Church, the United House of Prayer, which owned a retail property on 125th Street, asked Fred Harari, a Jewish tenant who operated Freddie's Fashion Mart, to evict his longtime subtenant, a black-owned record store called The Record Shack. Sharpton led a protest in Harlem against the planned eviction of The Record Shack. Sharpton told the protesters, "We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business."
On December 8, 1995, Roland J. Smith Jr., one of the protesters, entered Harari's store with a gun and flammable liquid, shot several customers and set the store on fire. The gunman fatally shot himself, and seven store employees died of smoke inhalation. Fire Department officials discovered that the store's sprinkler had been shut down, in violation of the local fire code. Sharpton claimed that the perpetrator was an open critic of himself and his nonviolent tactics. In 2002, Sharpton expressed regret for making the racial remark "white interloper" and denied responsibility for inflaming or provoking the violence.
In 1999, Sharpton led a protest to raise awareness about the death of Amadou Diallo, an immigrant from Guinea who was shot to death by NYPD officers. Sharpton claimed that Diallo's death was the result of police brutality and racial profiling. Diallo's family was later awarded $3 million in a wrongful death suit filed against the city.
In May 1999, Sharpton, Jesse Jackson, and other activists protested the December 1998 fatal police shooting of Tyisha Miller in central Riverside, California. Miller, a 19-year-old African-American woman, had sat unconscious in a locked car with a flat tire and the engine left running, parked at a local gas station. After her relatives had called 9-1-1, Riverside Police Department officers who responded to the scene observed a gun in the young woman's lap, and according to their accounts, she was shaking and foaming at the mouth, and in need of medical attention. When officers decided to break her window to reach her, as one officer reached for the weapon, she allegedly awoke and clutched her firearm, prompting several officers to open fire, hitting her 23 times and killing her. When the Riverside County district attorney stated that the officers involved had erred in judgement but committed no crime, declining to file criminal charges against them, Sharpton participated in protests which reached their zenith when protestors spilled onto the busy SR 91, completely stopping traffic. Sharpton was arrested for his participation and leadership in these protests.
In 2001 Sharpton was jailed for 90 days on trespassing charges while protesting against U.S. military target practice exercises in Puerto Rico near a United States Navy bombing site. Sharpton, held in a Puerto Rican lockup for two days and then imprisoned at Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn on May 25, 2001, has the Federal Bureau of Prisons ID# 21458-069. He was released on August 17, 2001.
In 2002 Sharpton was involved in protests following the death of West African immigrant Ousmane Zongo. Zongo, who was unarmed, was shot by an undercover police officer during a raid on a warehouse in the Chelsea neighborhood of Manhattan. Sharpton met with the family and also provided some legal services.
On November 25, 2006, Sean Bell was shot and killed in the Jamaica section of Queens, New York, by plainclothes detectives from the New York Police Department in a hail of 50 bullets. The incident sparked fierce criticism of the police from the public and drew comparisons to the 1999 killing of Amadou Diallo. Three of the five detectives involved in the shooting went to trial in 2008 on charges ranging from manslaughter to reckless endangerment but were found not guilty.
On May 7, 2008, in response to the acquittals of the officers, Sharpton coordinated peaceful protests at major river crossings in New York City, including the Brooklyn Bridge, the Queensboro Bridge, the Triborough Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, the Holland Tunnel, and the Queens–Midtown Tunnel. Sharpton and about 200 others were arrested.
On March 11, 2008, Sharpton held a press conference to highlight what he said was unequal treatment of four suspected rapists in a high-profile crime in the Dunbar Village Housing Projects in West Palm Beach, Florida. The suspects, who were young black men, were arrested for allegedly raping and beating a black Haitian woman at gunpoint. The crime also involved forcing the woman to perform oral sex on her 12-year-old son.
At his press conference Sharpton said that any violent act toward a woman is inexcusable but he felt that the accused youths were being treated unfairly because they were black. Sharpton contrasted the treatment of the suspects, who remain in jail, with white suspects involved in a gang rape—which he claimed was equivalent to the Dunbar Village attack—who were released after posting bond.
Reclaim the Dream commemorative march
On August 28, 2010, Sharpton and other civil rights leaders led a march to commemorate the 47th anniversary of the historic March on Washington. After gathering at Dunbar High School in Washington, D.C., thousands of people marched five miles to the National Mall.
In June 2011, Sharpton spoke at a rally in support of Tanya McDowell, who was arrested and charged with larceny for allegedly registering her son for kindergarten in the wrong public school district using a false address. She claimed to spend time in both a Bridgeport, Connecticut, apartment and a homeless shelter in Norwalk, where her son was registered.
Following the 2012 shooting of Trayvon Martin by George Zimmerman, Sharpton led several protests and rallies criticizing the Sanford Police Department over the handling of the shooting and called for Zimmerman's arrest: "Zimmerman should have been arrested that night. You cannot defend yourself against a pack of Skittles and iced tea." Sean Hannity accused Sharpton and MSNBC of "rush[ing] to judgment" in the case. MSNBC issued a statement in which they said Sharpton "repeatedly called for calm" and further investigation. Following the acquittal of Zimmerman, Sharpton called the not guilty verdict an "atrocity" and "a slap in the face to those that believe in justice." Subsequently, Sharpton and his organization, National Action Network, held rallies in several cities denouncing the verdict and called for "Justice for Trayvon."
After the July 2014 death of Eric Garner on Staten Island, New York, by a New York City Police Department officer, Daniel Pantaleo, Sharpton organized a peaceful protest in Staten Island on the afternoon of July 19, and condemned the police's use of the chokehold on Garner, saying that "there is no justification" for it. Sharpton had also planned to lead a protest on August 23, in which participants would have driven over the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, then traveled to the site of the altercation and the office of District Attorney Dan Donovan This idea was scrapped in favor of Sharpton leading a peaceful march along Bay Street in Staten Island, where Garner died; over 5,000 people marched in the demonstration.
Ministers March for Justice
On August 28, 2017, the fifty-fourth anniversary of the famous March on Washington at which Martin Luther King Jr. gave his "I Have a Dream" speech, Sharpton organized the Ministers March for Justice, promising to bring a thousand members of the clergy to Washington, D.C., to deliver a "unified moral rebuke" to President Donald Trump. Several thousand religious leaders showed up, including Christians, Jews, Muslims, and Sikhs. Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank wrote that "President Trump has united us, after all. He brought together the Rev. Al Sharpton and the Jews."
In September 2007, Sharpton was asked whether he considered it important for the US to have a black president. He responded, "It would be a great moment as long as the black candidate was supporting the interest that would inevitably help our people. A lot of my friends went with Clarence Thomas and regret it to this day. I don't assume that just because somebody's my color, they're my kind. But I'm warming up to Obama, but I'm not there yet."
Sharpton is a supporter of equal rights for gays and lesbians, including same-sex marriage. During his 2004 presidential campaign, Sharpton said he thought it was insulting to be asked to discuss the issue of gay marriage. "It's like asking do I support black marriage or white marriage.... The inference of the question is that gays are not like other human beings." Sharpton is leading a grassroots movement to eliminate homophobia within the Black church.
In 2014, Sharpton began a push for criminal justice reform, citing the fact that black people represent a greater proportion of those arrested and incarcerated in America.
In August 2017, Sharpton called for the federal government to stop maintaining the Jefferson Memorial in Washington, D.C., because Thomas Jefferson owned slaves and had children with his slave Sally Hemings. He said taxpayer funds should not be used to care for monuments to slave-owners and that private museums were preferable. "People need to understand that people were enslaved. Our families were victims of this. Public monuments [to people like Jefferson] are supported by public funds. You're asking me to subsidize the insult to my family."
Comments on gay and lesbian people
Sharpton said to an audience at Kean College in 1994: "We taught philosophy and astrology and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it."[unreliable source?] In 2007, Sharpton defended his comments by saying that the term "homo" was not homophobic but added that he no longer uses the term. In 2005, Sharpton called for an end to homophobia in the African-American community.
Comments on Mormons
As for the one Mormon running for office, those who really believe in God will defeat him anyways, so don't worry about that; that's a temporary situation.
In response, a representative for Romney told reporters that "bigotry toward anyone because of their beliefs is unacceptable." The Catholic League compared Sharpton to Don Imus, and said that his remarks "should finish his career."
On May 9, during an interview on Paula Zahn NOW, Sharpton said that his views on Mormonism were based on the "Mormon Church's traditionally racist views regarding blacks" and its interpretation of the so-called "Curse of Ham." On May 10, Sharpton called two apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and apologized to them for his remarks and asked to meet with them. A spokesman for the Church confirmed that Sharpton had called and said that "we appreciate it very much, Rev. Sharpton's call, and we consider the matter closed." He also apologized to "any member of the Mormon church" who was offended by his comments. Later that month, Sharpton went to Salt Lake City, Utah, where he met with Elder M. Russell Ballard, a leader of the Church, and Elder Robert C. Oaks of the Church's Presidency of the Seventy.
On February 13, 1994, Sharpton told a student audience at Kean College in New Jersey: "White folks was in the caves while we was building empires," he said. "We built pyramids before Donald Trump even knew what architecture was. We taught philosophy and astrology [sic] and mathematics before Socrates and them Greek homos ever got around to it. Do some cracker come and tell you, 'Well my mother and father blood go back to the Mayflower,' you better hold your pocket. That ain't nothing to be proud of, that means their forefathers was crooks."
He has derided moderate black politicians close to the Democratic Party as "cocktail sip Negroes" or "yellow niggers."
Tawana Brawley rape case
On November 28, 1987, Tawana Brawley, a 15-year-old black girl, was found smeared with feces, lying in a garbage bag, her clothing torn and burned and with various slurs and epithets written on her body in charcoal. Brawley claimed she had been assaulted and raped by six white men, some of them police officers, in the town of Wappinger, New York.
Attorneys Alton H. Maddox and C. Vernon Mason joined Sharpton in support of Brawley. A grand jury was convened; after seven months of examining police and medical records, the jury found "overwhelming evidence" that Brawley had fabricated her story. Sharpton, Maddox, and Mason had accused the Dutchess County prosecutor, Steven Pagones, of racism and of being one of the perpetrators of the alleged abduction and rape. The three were successfully sued for defamation, and were ordered to pay $345,000 in damages, with the jury finding Sharpton liable for making seven defamatory statements about Pagones, Maddox for two, and Mason for one. Sharpton refused to pay his share of the damages; it was later paid by a number of black business leaders including Johnnie Cochran.
In 2007, Sharpton said he would handle the case the same today, with the only difference being that he would not have made it so personal against Pagones. He said that he still felt Brawley had a good case to go to trial, saying in an interview: "I disagreed with the grand jury on Brawley. I believed there was enough evidence to go to trial. Grand jury said there wasn't. Okay, fine. Do I have a right to disagree with the grand jury? Many Americans believe O.J. Simpson was guilty. A jury said he wasn't. So I have as much right to question a jury as they do. Does it make somebody a racist? No! They just disagreed with the jury. So did I."
Work as FBI informant
In 2002, HBO's Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel aired a 19-year-old FBI videotape of an undercover sting operation showing Sharpton with an undercover FBI agent posing as a Latin American businessman and a reputed Colombo crime family captain. During the discussion, the undercover agent offered Sharpton a 10% commission for arranging drug sales. On the videotape, Sharpton mostly nods and allows the FBI agent to do most of the talking. No drug deal was ever consummated, and no charges were brought against Sharpton as a result of the tape.
In April 2014, The Smoking Gun obtained documents indicating that Sharpton became an FBI informant in 1983 following Sharpton's role in a drug sting involving Colombo crime family captain Michael Franzese. Sharpton allegedly recorded incriminating conversations with Genovese and Gambino family mobsters, contributing to the indictments of several underworld figures. Sharpton is referred to in FBI documents as "CI-7."
Summarizing the evidence supporting that Sharpton was an active FBI informant in the 1980s, William Bastone, the Smoking Gun's founder, stated: "If he (Sharpton) didn't think he was an informant, the 'Genovese squad' of the FBI and NYPD officials sure knew him to be an informant. He was paid to be an informant, he carried a briefcase with a recording device in it, and he made surreptitious tape recordings of a Gambino crime family member 10 separate times as an informant. He did it at the direction of the FBI, he was prepped by the FBI, was handed the briefcase by the FBI and was debriefed after the meetings. That's an informant." Sharpton disputes portions of the allegations.
Sharpton is alleged to have secretly recorded conversations with black activists in the 1980s regarding Joanne Chesimard (Assata Shakur) and other underground black militants. Veteran activist Ahmed Obafemi told the New York Daily News that he had long suspected Sharpton of taping him with the bugged briefcase.
In 2005, Sharpton appeared in three television commercials for LoanMax, an automobile title loan company. He was criticized for his appearance because LoanMax reportedly charges fees which are the equivalent of 300% APR loans.
In 1993 Sharpton pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for failing to file a state income tax return. Later, the authorities discovered that one of Mr. Sharpton's for-profit companies, Raw Talent, which he used as a repository for money from speaking engagements, was also not paying taxes, a failure that continued for years.
On May 9, 2008, the Associated Press reported that Sharpton and his businesses owed almost $1.5 million in unpaid taxes and penalties. Sharpton owed $931,000 in federal income tax and $366,000 to New York, and his for-profit company, Rev. Al Communications, owed another $176,000 to the state.
On June 19, 2008, the New York Post reported that the Internal Revenue Service had sent subpoenas to several corporations that had donated to Sharpton's National Action Network. In 2007 New York State Attorney General Andrew Cuomo began investigating the National Action Network, because it failed to make proper financial reports, as required for non-profits. According to the Post, several major corporations, including Anheuser-Busch and Colgate-Palmolive, have donated thousands of dollars to the National Action Network. The Post asserted that the donations were made to prevent boycotts or rallies by the National Action Network.
Sharpton countered the investigative actions with a charge that they reflected a political agenda by United States agencies.
On September 29, 2010, Robert Snell of The Detroit News reported that the Internal Revenue Service had filed a notice of federal tax lien against Sharpton in New York City in the amount of over $538,000. Sharpton's lawyer asserts that the notice of federal tax lien relates to Sharpton's year 2009 federal income tax return, the due date of which has been extended to October 15, 2010, according to the lawyer. However, the Snell report states that the lien relates to taxes assessed during 2009.
In 1971 while touring with James Brown, he met future wife Kathy Jordan, who was a backup singer. Sharpton and Jordan married in 1980. The couple separated in 2004. In July 2013, the New York Daily News reported that Sharpton, while still married to his second wife (the first being Marsha Tinsley), now had a self-described "girlfriend", Aisha McShaw, aged 35, and that the couple had "been an item for months.... photographed at elegant bashes all over the country." McShaw, the Daily News reported, referred to herself professionally as both a "personal stylist" and "personal banker."
Sharpton was licensed and ordained a Pentecostal minister by Bishop F. D. Washington at the age of nine or ten. After Bishop Washington's death in the late 1980s, Sharpton became a Baptist. He was re-baptized as a member of the Bethany Baptist Church in 1994 by the Reverend William Augustus Jones and became a Baptist minister.
On January 12, 1991, Sharpton escaped serious injury when he was stabbed in the chest in the schoolyard at P.S. 205 by Michael Riccardi while Sharpton was preparing to lead a protest through Bensonhurst in Brooklyn, New York. The intoxicated attacker was apprehended by Sharpton's aides and handed over to police, who were present for the planned protest.
In 1992, Riccardi was convicted of first-degree assault. Sharpton asked the judge for leniency when sentencing Riccardi. The judge sentenced Riccardi to five to 15 years in jail, and he served ten years in prison being released on parole on January 8, 2001.
Sharpton, although forgiving his attacker and pleading for leniency on his behalf, filed suit against New York City alleging that the many police present had failed to protect him from his attacker. In December 2003, he finally reached a $200,000 settlement with the city just as jury selection was about to start.
Indirect familial relation to Strom Thurmond
In February 2007 genealogist Megan Smolenyak discovered that Sharpton's great-grandfather, Coleman Sharpton, was a slave owned by Julia Thurmond, whose grandfather was Strom Thurmond's great-great-grandfather. Coleman Sharpton was later freed.
Thurmond was notable as the longest-serving senator (at the time of his death), who was a major advocate of racial segregation during the middle of the 20th century. Thurmond's illegitimate daughter, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, stated she would welcome Sharpton to the family if a DNA test shows he is a relative. In an interview, Sharpton said he has no plans for the DNA test to see if he is related.
The Sharpton family name originated with Coleman Sharpton's previous slave-owner, who was named Alexander Sharpton.
After being obese for decades, Sharpton lost over 100 pounds in the four and a half years ending October 2014.
Sharpton has run unsuccessfully for elected office on multiple occasions. Of his unsuccessful runs, he said that winning office may not have been his goal, saying in an interview: "Much of the media criticism of me assumes their goals and they impose them on me. Well, those might not be my goals. So they will say, 'Well, Sharpton has not won a political office.' But that might not be my goal! Maybe I ran for political office to change the debate, or to raise the social justice question." Sharpton ran for a United States Senate seat from New York in 1988, 1992, and 1994. In 1997, he ran for Mayor of New York City. During his 1992 bid, he and his wife lived in a home in Englewood, New Jersey, though he said his residence was an apartment in Brooklyn.
On December 15, 2005, Sharpton agreed to repay $100,000 in public funds he received from the federal government for his 2004 Presidential campaign. The repayment was required because Sharpton had exceeded federal limits on personal expenditures for his campaign. At that time, his most recent Federal Election Commission filings (from January 1, 2005) stated that Sharpton's campaign still had debts of $479,050 and owed Sharpton himself $145,146 for an item listed as "Fundraising Letter Preparation — Kinko's."
In 2009, the Federal Election Commission announced it had levied a fine of $285,000 against Sharpton's 2004 presidential campaign team for breaking campaign finance rules during his bid for President.
Sharpton said in 2007 that he would not enter the 2008 presidential race.
Sharpton has made cameo appearances in the movies Cold Feet, Bamboozled, Mr. Deeds, and Malcolm X. He also has appeared in episodes of the television shows New York Undercover, Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, Girlfriends, My Wife and Kids, Rescue Me and Boston Legal. He hosted the original Spike TV reality television show I Hate My Job, and an episode of Saturday Night Live. He was a guest on Weekends at the DL on Comedy Central and has been featured in television ads for the Fernando Ferrer campaign for the New York City mayoral election, 2005. He also made a cameo appearance by telephone on the Food Network series, The Secret Life Of . . ., when host Jim O'Connor expressed disbelief that a restaurant owner who'd named a dish after Sharpton actually knew him.
In 1988, during an appearance on The Morton Downey Jr. Show, Sharpton and Congress of Racial Equality National Chairman Roy Innis got into a heated argument about the Tawana Brawley case and Innis shoved Sharpton to the floor.
In June 2005, Sharpton signed a contract with Matrix Media to produce and host a live two-hour daily talk program, but it never aired. In November 2005, Sharpton signed with Radio One to host a daily national talk radio program, which began airing on January 30, 2006, entitled Keepin It Real with Al Sharpton.
On August 29, 2011, Sharpton became the host of PoliticsNation, the MSNBC show which originally aired weeknights during the 6:00 p.m. Eastern Time hour. In October 2015 the program was moved to Sunday mornings, one hour per week. He continues to be a regular contributor to Morning Joe.
- Ellen Warren (November 20, 2003). "Al Sharpton: Reinventing himself". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
At 20, Sharpton married recording artist Marsha Tinsley but it lasted less than a year.
- CNN Library (March 3, 2013). "Al Sharpton Fast Facts". CNN. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
Birth name: Alfred Charles Sharpton, Jr.
- "National Action Network – About Us". Archived from the original on 2009-05-29.
- "Bio: Rev. Al Sharpton". Fox News. August 27, 2003. Archived from the original on May 22, 2013. Retrieved September 24, 2007.
- "Rev. Al Sharpton, The "Refined Agitator"". 60 Minutes. May 22, 2011. Retrieved June 4, 2014.
- Stelter, Brian (August 23, 2011). "Al Sharpton Formally Named MSNBC Host". The New York Times. Retrieved August 23, 2011.
- Grove, Lloyd (August 28, 2015). "Why Al Sharpton Is Happy With His MSNBC Demotion".
- Taylor, Clarence (2002). Black Religious Intellectuals: The Fight for Equality from Jim Crow to the 21st Century. New York: Routledge. p. 127. ISBN 0-415-93326-9.
- Caruso, David B. (May 9, 2008). "Records show Sharpton owes overdue taxes, other penalties". USA Today. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- "theGrio's 100: Rev. Al Sharpton, Taking His Activist Fight to the Airwaves". The Grio. February 6, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014.
- Hutchinson, Earl Ofari (March 28, 2013). "Black America Doesn't Lack Leaders: Poll Shows 24 Percent Say Sharpton Speaks for Them". The Grio. Retrieved July 11, 2013.
- Taylor. Black Religious Intellectuals. p. 118.
- Taylor. Black Religious Intellectuals. p. 120.
- Jackson, Derrick Z. (February 25, 2000). "Uneasy about Sharpton". Boston Glboe. Archived from the original on June 21, 2003. Retrieved February 24, 2015.
- Interview with Al Sharpton, David Shankbone, Wikinews, December 3, 2007.
- William Addams Reitwiesner. "Ancestry of Rev. Al Sharpton". Archived from the original on July 24, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
- "Ancestry of Rev. Al Sharpton – Family Tree and Ancestors of Alfred Sharpton, Jr". Genealogy.about.com. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
- Blue Clark, Indian Tribes of Oklahoma: A Guide, University of Oklahoma Press (2012), p. 75
- Alexandra Marks (December 3, 2003). "The Rev. Al Sharpton's latest crusade". The Christian Science Monitor. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
- Jack Newfield (January 7, 2002). "Rev Vs. Rev". New York. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
- Scott Sherman (April 16, 2001). "He Has a Dream". The Nation. Retrieved May 30, 2011.
- "Al Sharpton Fast Facts". CNN.com. March 27, 2013. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- "Who Is Al Sharpton?". ABC News. Retrieved April 22, 2012.
- Candidates – Al Sharpton, CNN's "America Votes 2004", Retrieved April 7, 2007
- Sharpton Biography, thehistorymakers.com, web site access April 7, 2007
- Michael Slackman, "Sharpton Runs for Presidency, and Influence", The New York Times, December 5, 2003.
- "U.S. Prosecution Of Goetz Sought", The New York Times, January 29, 1985.
- David E. Pitt, "Blacks See Goetz Verdict As Blow To Race Relations", The New York Times, June 18, 1987.
- Robert D. McFadden, "Black Man Dies After Beating In Queens", The New York Times, December 21, 1986.
- Ronald Smothers, "1,200 Protesters Of Racial Attack March In Queens", The New York Times, December 28, 1986.
- Nick Ravo, "Marchers and Brooklyn Youths Trade Racial Jeers", The New York Times, August 27, 1989.
- John DeSantis. For the Color of His Skin: The Murder of Yusuf Hawkins and the Trial of Bensonhurst. 1991. New York: Pharos Books. ISBN 978-0-88687-621-0. p. 190.
- Robert D. McFadden, "Sharpton Is Stabbed at Bensonhurst Protest", The New York Times, January 13, 1991.
- Lee A. Daniels, "Attacker Of Sharpton Is Sentenced", The New York Times, March 17, 1992.
- Stefan Friedman. "Reverend Al Sharpton's Bio". National Action Network. Archived from the original on May 19, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
- "Grace Church Websites launches free websites for Greater New Haven churches, nonprofit organization". New Haven Register.
- "Bridging the digital divide, company gives churches free websites". Religion News Service.
- "As a Divided Community Begins to Forget, a Court Reopens Old Wounds in Crown Heights". The Village Voice. January 22, 2002. Archived from the original on August 7, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
- "The skeletons and suits in Sharpton's closet". Salon. Archived from the original on April 18, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
- John Kifner (August 21, 1991). "A Boy's Death Ignites Clashes in Crown Heights". The New York Times. Retrieved March 28, 2008.
- "Things Go Seriously Wrong". The Gotham Gazette. June 1, 2003. Archived from the original on April 27, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
- "Tension in Brooklyn; Blacks March by Hasidim Through a Corridor of Blue". John Kifner. The New York Times. August 25, 1991.
- Lowery, Mark (August 18, 1991). "Sharpton Calls For a Boycott Of Classes". Newsday. p. 5.
- Sexton, Joe (December 9, 1995). "Bad Luck and Horror for Seven in a Shop". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved April 13, 2007.
- Pyle, Richard (December 12, 1995). "New Yorker Reflect on a Massacre in Harlem". Albany Times Union/Associated Press. p. B2.
- Barry, Dan (December 9, 1995). "Death on 128th street: The dispute; Plans to Evict Record-Shop Owner Roiled Residents". The New York Times. p. 31. Retrieved July 7, 2009.
- Lowry, Rich (December 3, 2003). "Sharpton's Victory". National Review. Archived from the original on April 16, 2007. Retrieved April 16, 2007.
- Kifner, John (December 9, 1995). "Eight killed in Harlem arson, Gunman among dead". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved April 16, 2007.
- Sexton, John (December 18, 1995). "A Life of Resistance: A Special Report;Gunman's Ardent Credo: Black Self-Sufficiency". The New York Times. Retrieved April 16, 2007. Smith was found with a card identifying himself as Aboudima Moulika and he had also used the name Abugunde Mulocko.
- Inquiry Traces Sprinkler System Failure in Fatal Harlem Fire. The New York Times. December 15, 1995.
- "Al Sharpton for president?". The Phoenix.com. July 3, 2002. Archived from the original on October 10, 2015. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
- Feuer, Alan (July 1, 2004). "$3 Million Deal in Police Killing of Diallo in '99". The New York Times. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
- "Hundreds Protest Killing of California Woman by Police", The New York Times, May 11, 1999, retrieved October 22, 2010
- "California Officers Cleared in Killing of Young Woman, Prompting Protests", The New York Times, May 7, 1999, retrieved October 22, 2010
- New York Magazine. July 28, 1997. p. 30. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- Bonfire of the Inanities. February 1989. p. 48.
- Lipton, Eric (May 24, 2001). "Sharpton and 3 from Bronx are jailed in Vieques Protest". The New York Times. p. 1. Retrieved April 13, 2007.
- Feuer, Alan (June 12, 2001). "Sleeker by 14 Pounds, Sharpton Fights On". The New York Times. Retrieved April 29, 2010.
- "Alfred Sharpton." Federal Bureau of Prisons. Retrieved on May 30, 2010.
- As Outrage Mounts in New York Over the Police Killing of Another African Immigrant, Democracy Now! Interviews Kadiatou Diallo, Mother of Amadou Diallo. Archived February 14, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Democracy Now!, Tuesday, May 27, 2003.
- Lueck, Thomas J. (May 7, 2008). "Bell Protesters Block Traffic Across City". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 10, 2008. Retrieved May 8, 2008.
- Othón, Nancy L. (March 11, 2008). "Sharpton says Dunbar Village defendants being treated unfairly". South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Archived from the original on March 14, 2008. Retrieved October 28, 2009.
- Thomas-Lester, Avis; Harris, Hamil R.; Thompson, Krissah (August 28, 2010). "Sharpton's 'Reclaim the Dream' Event Brings Thousands to Honor MLK". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 28, 2010.
- Wiggin, Teke (June 8, 2011). "Sharpton defends McDowell at NAACP rally". Connecticut Post. Retrieved March 2, 2012.
- "Trayvon Martin Al Sharpton rally: Rev. Al Sharpton holds justice rally for slain teen Trayvon Martin". Orlando Sentinel. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- Shapiro, Rebecca (July 19, 2012). "Sean Hannity George Zimmerman Interview: MSNBC Hits Out At Fox News". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 23, 2012.
- "Al Sharpton: Verdict an 'Atrocity'". Wbzt.com. July 14, 2013. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
- "'Justice For Trayvon' Rallies Held In Numerous Cities". NPR.org. July 20, 2013. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- Queally, James (July 19, 2014). "Rev. Al Sharpton leads calls for justice in NYPD chokehold death". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved July 19, 2014.
- Allen, Jonathan. Bridge protest over NYC man's arrest death to proceed, Reuters, August 9, 2014.
- "Chokehold death demonstrators flood Staten Island in protest".
- Los Angeles Times (August 23, 2014). "Thousands march through Staten Island to protest Eric Garner's death". latimes.com. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- Alison Vingiano. "Thousands Peacefully March In New York City To Protest The Death Of Eric Garner". BuzzFeed. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- "In Staten Island, a peaceful march for Eric Garner". MSNBC. Retrieved February 22, 2015.
- Stein, Perry; Zauzmer, Julie (August 28, 2017). "Dueling clergy protests over the Trump presidency converge on Washington". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
- Jansen, Bart (August 28, 2017). "Clergy march for racial justice on anniversary of Martin Luther King's 'I Have a Dream' speech". USA Today. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
- Milbank, Dana (August 28, 2017). "What did it take to finally unite Al Sharpton and Jews? Donald Trump". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 30, 2017.
- Murphy, Keith (August 1, 2007). "Al Sharpton on Barack Obama". Vibe. Archived from the original on January 2, 2008. Retrieved January 15, 2008.
- Rev. Al Sharpton Preaches Compassion for Chickens Archived October 23, 2005, at the Wayback Machine., Kentuckyfriedcruelty.com, Retrieved April 7, 2007
- Sandalow, Marc (July 16, 2003). "Democrats divided on gay marriage". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 11, 2008.
- Sharpton Chides Black Churches Over Homophobia, Gay Marriage Archived February 28, 2009, at the Wayback Machine., Dyana Bagby, Houston Voice, January 24, 2006
- Bouie, Jamelle. "Broken Windows Policing Kills People". www.slate.com. Slate. Retrieved August 6, 2014.
- "Al Sharpton: Defund the Jefferson Memorial". Fox News. August 16, 2017. Retrieved August 17, 2017
- Moynihan, Daniel Patrick (1996), Miles to Go: A Personal History of Social Policy, Harvard University Press, p. 23, ISBN 0674574400
- The Skeletons and Suits in Sharpton's Closet Archived April 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Salon, June 20, 2003.
- Sharpton Pledges Fight Against Homophobia Among Blacks, The New York Sun, August 3, 2005.
- Sharpton accused of 'bigotry' after remark on faith Archived May 10, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., CNN, May 9, 2007.
- Sharpton denies disputing Romney's faith, USA Today, May 9, 2007.
- Catholic League Calls For End of Sharpton's Career, KSL-TV, May 10, 2007.
- Romney Accuses Sharpton of a Bigoted Remark, The New York Times, May 10, 2007.
- Sharpton apologizes to LDS Church apostles Archived May 12, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Deseret News, May 10, 2007.
- Sharpton apologizes, plans Utah trip Archived May 13, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Deseret News, May 11, 2007.
- The Rev. Al Sharpton Completes Visit to Church Headquarters[permanent dead link], Newsroom, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, May 22, 2007.
- 'Common ground' — Sharpton tours, meets with apostle Archived June 30, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Deseret News, May 22, 2007.
- MITCHELL, ALISON (September 9, 1992). "Sharpton's Headache: To Get Out the Vote". The New York Times. New York Times. Retrieved September 3, 2015.
- "Evidence Points to Deceit by Brawley". The New York Times. September 27, 1988. Retrieved January 20, 2008.
A seven-month New York State grand jury inquiry has compiled overwhelming evidence that Tawana Brawley fabricated her story of abduction and sexual abuse by a gang of racist white men last year, according to investigators, witnesses and official summaries of evidence presented to the panel.
- "Winner in Brawley suit says victory is bittersweet". CNN. January 14, 1998. Archived from the original on March 20, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
- Farber, M. A. (January 21, 1988). "Protest Figure Reported To Be a U.S. Informant". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- Farber, M. A. (February 24, 1988). "Sharpton: Champion or Opportunist?". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- Drury, Bob; Kessler, Robert E.; McAlary, Mike (January 20, 1988). "Minister and Informant". Newsday. Retrieved March 12, 2014.
- Blumenthal, Ralph; Saulny, Susan (July 25, 2002). "A 19-Year-Old F.B.I. Videotape Keeps Pulling Sharpton Back to the Past". The New York Times. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- "Al Sharpton's Secret Work As FBI Informant". The Smoking Gun. April 7, 2014.
- "Al Sharpton: I'm No Snitch". The Daily Beast. April 8, 2014.
- "Al Sharpton downplays claims he was an FBI informant". USA Today. April 8, 2014.
- Ron Howell (April 13, 2014). "Ahmed Obafemi recalls 1983 meeting with Rev. Al Sharpton and his bugged briefcase". New York Daily News.
- Argetsinger, Amy; Roberts, Roxanne (November 29, 2005). "Loan Ranger: If You've Got a Car, He's Got the Keys to Cash". The Washington Post. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- Buettner, Russ (November 18, 2014). "Questions About Sharpton's Finances Accompany His Rise in Influence". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2014.
- Chuck Bennett, "Subpoena Blitz Puts Heat on Al", New York Post, June 19, 2008.
- Isabel Vincent and Susan Edelman, "Rev. Al Soaks Up Boycott Bucks: Biz Giants Pay or Face Race Rallies", New York Post, June 15, 2008.
- Marzulli, John (June 20, 2008). "Sharpton gets big gun to fend off feds". Daily News. New York. Archived from the original on June 23, 2008. Retrieved June 20, 2008.
- Robert Snell, "Sharpton faced with fresh tax woe," The Detroit News, September 29, 2010, at "Archived copy". Archived from the original on October 5, 2010. Retrieved 2010-10-02. .
- "Campaign 2004: Alfred Sharpton". USA Today. May 20, 2005. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
- "Rev. Al Sharpton And Wife Kathy Renew Their Wedding Vows". Jet. January 17, 2001. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
- "Al Sharpton, wife announce separation". USA Today. November 7, 2004. Retrieved July 10, 2007.
- "Al Sharpton Fast Facts". CNN. March 27, 2013. Retrieved July 25, 2013.
- Fermino, Jennifer (July 17, 2013). "Al Sharpton finds new love in a decades-younger Westchester stylist". The New York Daily News.
- "Rev. Al Sharpton Inducted into Phi Beta Sigma". Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. 2009. Archived from the original on December 27, 2011. Retrieved March 12, 2012.
- "Al Sharpton Interview Transcript". Morning Edition. National Public Radio. June 13, 2003. Archived from the original on June 9, 2007. Retrieved June 19, 2007.
- "Reverend Al Sharpton". Greater Talent Network Speakers Bureau. Archived from the original on May 23, 2008. Retrieved May 11, 2008.
- Jones, Charisse. "Sharpton Is Rebaptized As Baptist in Brooklyn". The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2014.
- Matthew Chayes (May 8, 2007). "Hitchens, Sharpton Spar Over the Almighty". The New York Sun. Retrieved July 3, 2007.
- "Al Sharpton and Christopher Hitchens." FORA.tv. May 7, 2007. Retrieved August 6, 2009.
- McFadden, Robert D. (January 13, 1991). "Sharpton Is Stabbed at Bensonhurst Protest". The New York Times.
- Lueck, Thomas. "City Settles Sharpton Suit Over Stabbing". The New York Times, December 9, 2003.
- Daniels, Lee A. "Attacker of Sharpton is Sentenced". The New York Times, March 17, 1992.
- Fernanda Santos, Sharpton Learns His Forebears Were Thurmonds' Slaves, The New York Times, February 26, 2007.
- "Report: Al Sharpton's Ancestors Were Slaves Owned by Strom Thurmond's Relatives". Fox News. Associated Press. February 25, 2007. Archived from the original on November 18, 2011. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- Alan Goldman, Slavery ties Sharpton to Thurmond Archived February 27, 2007, at the Wayback Machine., Associated Press, February 25, 2007.
- Goggins, Katrina A. (February 27, 2007). "Thurmond Child Says Sharpton Overreacted". The Washington Post. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- Al Sharpton Jr., My link to Strom Thurmond, Los Angeles Times, March 1, 2007.
- Gabrielle Olya (October 31, 2014). "How Al Sharpton Dropped an Astounding 176 Lbs". People. Retrieved November 22, 2014.
The reverend, 60, has gone through several body transformations throughout the years, first losing 30 lbs. while on a 43-day hunger strike in jail in 2001 and then putting the weight back on during his presidential run. The real turning point for him was getting criticism from his daughter. "Around 2006, my youngest daughter Ashley poked me in the stomach and said, 'Dad, why are you so fat?' That kind of hurt my feelings. I grew up in civil rights and politics, so I'm pretty thick-skinned, but when your daughter says it, I started being conscious."
- Staff. "Sharpton to run for U.S. Senate", Pittsburgh Press, January 21, 1992. Retrieved February 17, 2011. "Sharpton, who lives with his wife and two daughters in Englewood, N.J., and also shares an apartment in Brooklyn with a friend, said his legal residence was New York."
- "Sharpton Returns Public Funds". The Washington Post. December 16, 2007. Retrieved April 6, 2007.
- "FEC Reaches Settlement with Rev. Al Sharpton, Sharpton 2004 and Non-profit Corporation". April 30, 2009. Archived from the original on August 13, 2009. Retrieved September 5, 2009.
- David B. Caruso (April 30, 2009). "Sharpton fined, but feels vindicated in FEC probe". The Seattle Times. Archived from the original on July 14, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- , Rev. Al is Bowing Out, Retrieved April 7, 2007
- "Al Shaprton". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved June 12, 2012.
- Jim Rutenberg and Diane Cardwell (November 1, 2005). "Ads in the Mayoral Race Turn Meaner on the Eve of the Final Debate". The New York Times.
- "Innis Shoves Sharpton To Floor at TV Taping". The New York Times. August 10, 1988. Retrieved July 21, 2013.
- "Louis Theroux's Weird Weekends, Black Nationalism". IMDB. Retrieved January 31, 2015.
- Hernandez, Ernio (January 20, 2008). ""Goodbye": Spelling Bee Closes on Broadway Jan. 20". Playbill. Archived from the original on May 1, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- Mushnick, Phil (September 28, 2009). "WWE preys with Rev. Al". New York Post. Retrieved November 18, 2013.
- Simon, Clea (October 29, 2005). "WILD to air new African-American talk-radio network". The Boston Globe. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- Barrett, Wayne (July 29, 2011). "The Truth Behind Al Sharpton's Radio Power Play". Business Insider. Archived from the original on July 1, 2012. Retrieved April 15, 2012.
- "Books by Al Sharpton". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2015-11-08.
- Demeritt, Jennifer (June 2012). "A Day with Reverend Al Sharpton". Gotham.
- Salomon, Sheryl Huggins (August 27, 2011). "Sharpton Takes on His Critics". The Root. Archived from the original on August 31, 2011.
- Saslow, Eli (February 7, 2015). "The Public Life and Private Doubts of Al Sharpton". The Washington Post.
- Stewart, Nikita; Horowitz, Jason (August 24, 2014). "A Slimmed-Down Al Sharpton Savors an Expanded Profile". The New York Times.
- Thompson, Krissah (April 16, 2010). "Obama Administration Finds a Strong Ally in the Rev. Al Sharpton". The Washington Post.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Al Sharpton.|
|Wikiquote has quotations related to: Al Sharpton|
- Al Sharpton on IMDb
- Text of Democratic National Convention 2004 Speech
- On the Issues – Al Sharpton issue positions and quotes
- Al Sharpton 1988 Poughkeepsie march photograph by photographer/filmmaker Clay Walker
- "Al Sharpton collected news and commentary". The New York Times.
- Appearances on C-SPAN
- Works by or about Al Sharpton in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- Al Sharpton on Charlie Rose