I’ve always had a love loathe relationship with Rev. Al Sharpton. As a child, I watched Sharpton standing in front of any and every television camera and microphone speaking up for what seemed like any black person who felt they’d been wronged by the Man.
I always preferred the more smooth-talking manner of Jessie “I Am Somebody” Jackson over Sharpton’s street preacher style. As an adult, I’ve had the opportunity to cover social justice issues in Charlotte. My days as a reporter and a columnist gave me a nuanced respect for Sharpton’s clout. When I’ve written about injustices done to gays and lesbians, Hispanics or other minorities, I realized every ethnic minority needs a Sharpton.
He’s the person African Americans turn to when they feel they have nowhere else to go. His presence typically brings a national spotlight to injustices that would often be ignored or trivialized in local communities. He shines a light on the people living in the shadows of our communities. Sharpton stopped by the Radio One Charlotte studios on Friday on his way to a rally in South Carolina.
“We need to support black media,” Sharpton said. “Without those organizations our stories wouldn’t be heard. We’ve got to support those institutions and organizations that have proven over the test of the time (that) they’ll be there.”
In the video below Sharpton, discusses Trayvon Martin, the presidential election and his secret to success.