Who is the controversial reverend Al Sharpton and why will he be at Floyd’s funeral Reverend Al Sharpton is known for being a civil rights fighter in the United States.
New York, United States.- The Rev. Al Sharpton, who will deliver one of the elegies this Thursday at the memorial service for George Floyd in Minneapolis, is an indefatigable but controversial fighter for civil rights in the United States who has been at the forefront of the most explosive racial crashes in the last half century.
His advocates praise the 65-year-old Baptist reverend for his activism against racism, but his detractors remember him as a divisive provocateur. Mediatic at best, nowadays elegantly dressed, Sharpton has calmed down over the years and has adopted a more thoughtful and thoughtful style.
Born on October 3, 1954 in Brooklyn - where another Floyd tribute funeral will take place concurrent with that of Minneapolis - Sharpton has been noted for his rhetorical skills during his church sermons since he was just four years old.
At age nine, he was ordained a Pentecostal minister, and when he was still a teenager, he was chosen by the Rev. Jesse Jackson as youth director in New York for a national initiative to attack poverty in black neighborhoods.
When Martin Luther KIng was assassinated in 1968, he was 13 years old.
His life took a radical turn in 1973 when he met soul singer James Brown at a concert and ended up spending several years on tour with the musician. At the same time he met his future wife, Kathy Jordan, one of the members of the Brown choir.
Sharpton’s political activism exploded in the early 1980s, alongside escalating racial tensions in New York.
In 1985, he reached the national news, as leader of the protests against Bernard Goetz, who shot four black teenagers who were bothering him in the subway, and who was acquitted for acting in self-defense.
The success of the protests set a trend, and Sharpton has since led other protests in similar incidents, including after a rabbi ran over a young black man, leading to violent clashes between blacks and Jews in New York.
Critics have said her tactics were divisive, opportunistic, and inflammatory, especially highlighting the case of Tawana Brawley, in 1987, who said she was raped by six white police officers.
Sharpton became Brawley’s chief advocate and accused the deputy district attorney of being involved in the rape.
The investigating jury later determined that Brawley made up the incident and Sharpton was forced to pay the prosecutor $ 65,000 for defamation.
However, he always refused to apologize for his role in the scandal.
“For some, that case defines my career and is the only reason why I shouldn’t be supported by anyone in this country,” he wrote in his 2002 book, “Al On America.”
“For me it defines my career because I refused to bow or kneel despite the pressures. I believed in the word of a young woman and if I had to do it again, I would do it again,” he added.
As his notoriety grew, he was accused of misuse of funds, and had trouble with the tax authorities.
Sharpton says his new, calmer style began in 1991, when he was stabbed and nearly died when he was preparing to lead a protest march.
“After that I felt like I wanted to be more substantive, to be more than a catchphrase that people shout on the streets,” he said. “I had to be less frivolous and more sober in my style,” he added.
Sharpton ran unsuccessfully for the New York Senate in 1992 and 1994, for mayor of New York in 1997 and for Democratic presidential pre-candidate in 2004. He did not win votes to win, but had enough to be taken seriously by his rivals.
President Donald Trump has described him as “a swindler, a shaker.”
“I cause trouble for the bigots,” Sharpton replied.