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Reverend Al Sharpton

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Information about Reverend Al Sharpton

Profile image of Reverend Al Sharpton

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Activist
Minister
Civil Rights Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Keep The Faith.

Birthplace

Born:
10/3/1954
Birth Location:
New York, New York

Profession

Category:
CivicMakers
ReligionMakers
Occupation(s):
Community Activist
Minister
Civil Rights Leader

Favorites

Favorite Color:
Red
Favorite Food:
Fried Chicken
Favorite Time of Year:
Spring
Favorite Vacation Spot:
Caribbean
Favorite Quote:
Keep The Faith.

Birthplace

Born:
10/3/1954
Birth Location:
New York
See how Reverend Al Sharpton is related to other HistoryMakers

Biography

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on October 3, 1954, Reverend Alfred "Al" Sharpton has been preaching since age four. He was licensed and ordained at age nine. In 1971, he founded the National Youth Movement and for seventeen years he led the organization, registering young people to vote and giving them job opportunities. His direct-action and civil disobedience campaigns have brought attention to injustice in many areas.

Sharpton has pursued other interests while continuing to preach: in his teens, he established a close bond with James Brown and developed a father-son relationship, eventually recording the record God Smiled on Me with him. In the 1970s and early 1980s, he worked as a youth organizer with boxing promoter Don King, while learning more about African American politics and entertainment.

However, Sharpton never strayed far from activism. He formed the National Action Network in 1991 to fight for progressive, people-based social policies by providing extensive voter education and registration campaigns, economic support for small community businesses and by confronting corporate racism. That same year, Sharpton was stabbed in a Bensonhurst school yard. This represented a turning point for him. Eventually, he met and reconciled with his attacker.

Sharpton has never hesitated to act in support of African Americans, from individuals seeking public offices to Abner Louima, a Haitian immigrant brutalized by Brooklyn police in 1997. Now he is also seeking to build a national multi-cultural, multi-racial movement addressing a range of issues. To that end, in 1999 Sharpton, former New York City Mayor Ed Koch and Harvard Law School professor Charles Ogletree formed "Second Chance", a program to serve non-violent felony offenders after their release from prison. Sharpton also orchestrated a massive protest when police shot unarmed Amadou Diallo 42 times in 1999. In 2001, Sharpton protested the U.S. Navy's bombing of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques. Attempting to fight injustice wherever he finds it, Sharpton is following in the footsteps of Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr. and Reverend Jesse Jackson Sr.

Bibliography:

Sharpton, Al. Go and Tell the Pharaoh: The Autobiography of Reverend Al Sharpton. New York: Doubleday, 1996.

Sharpton, Al. Al on America. New York: Kensington Pub Corp, 2002.

Marcovitz, Hal. Al Sharpton (Black Americans of Achievement). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Pub, 2001.

See how Reverend Al Sharpton is related to other HistoryMakers
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  • Tape: 1 Story: 1 - Slating of Al Sharpton interview
  • Tape: 1 Story: 2 - Al Sharpton's favorites
  • Tape: 1 Story: 3 - Al Sharpton describes his family background
  • Tape: 1 Story: 4 - Al Sharpton recalls preaching as a child in Brooklyn, New York
  • Tape: 1 Story: 5 - Al Sharpton describes the Pentecostal faith
  • Tape: 1 Story: 6 - Al Sharpton explains how he dealt with his father's incest and departure
  • Tape: 1 Story: 7 - Al Sharpton describes his childhood personality
  • Tape: 1 Story: 8 - Al Sharpton further describes preaching as a child under Bishop F. D. Washington
  • Tape: 1 Story: 9 - Al Sharpton recalls his living environment growing up in Brooklyn and Queens
  • Tape: 2 Story: 1 - Al Sharpton remembers meeting Marcus Garvey's family
  • Tape: 2 Story: 2 - Al Sharpton recalls his interaction with Adam Clayton Powell, Jr.
  • Tape: 2 Story: 3 - Al Sharpton describes his early influences
  • Tape: 2 Story: 4 - Al Sharpton discusses his mentor, Reverend Jesse Jackson
  • Tape: 2 Story: 5 - Al Sharpton discusses social activism and the black church
  • Tape: 2 Story: 6 - Al Sharpton discusses his National Youth Movement organization
  • Tape: 3 Story: 1 - Al Sharpton emphasizes self-affirmation
  • Tape: 3 Story: 2 - Al Sharpton discusses the expression of emotions
  • Tape: 3 Story: 3 - Al Sharpton describes his relationship with James Brown
  • Tape: 3 Story: 4 - Al Sharpton discusses his relationship with Don King
  • Tape: 3 Story: 5 - Al Sharpton discusses his involvement in the entertainment industry
  • Tape: 3 Story: 6 - Al Sharpton discusses his career during the 1980s
  • Tape: 3 Story: 7 - Al Sharpton reflects on his commitment to activism
  • Tape: 3 Story: 8 - Al Sharpton reflects on garnering public support
  • Tape: 3 Story: 9 - Al Sharpton shares his philosophy on aiming high
  • Tape: 3 Story: 10 - Al Sharpton describes his plans for the future
  • Tape: 4 Story: 1 - Al Sharpton expresses his concerns for the black community
  • Tape: 4 Story: 2 - Al Sharpton considers his legacy