Sunday, February 25, 2007

Report: Family ties Sharpton to Thurmond

As reported today:

Geneaologists have found that civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton is a descendent of a slave owned by relatives of the late Sen. Strom Thurmond, a newspaper reported Sunday.

The Daily News said professional genealogists, working at the newspaper's behest, recently uncovered the ancestral ties between one of the nation's best known black leaders and a man who was once a prominent defender of segregation.

"I have always wondered what was the background of my family," the newspaper quoted Sharpton as saying. "But nothing — nothing — could prepare me for this."
"It's chilling. It's amazing."

Sharpton's office said Sunday morning that he would not comment until a news conference planned for later in the day.

Some of Thurmond's relatives said the connection also came as a surprise to them. A niece, Ellen Senter, said she would speak with Sharpton if he were interested.

"I doubt you can find many native South Carolinians today whose family, if you traced them back far enough, didn't own slaves," said Senter, 61, of Columbia, S.C. She added: "And it is wonderful that (Sharpton) was able to become what he is in spite of what his forefather was."
One of the late senator's sons, Paul Thurmond, and a nephew, Barry Bishop, declined comment, the Daily News said.

According to the newspaper, the genealogists found documents establishing 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.

The newspaper said the lead researcher was Megan Smolenyak, the chief family historian for and an author of several published books on genealogy. Another researcher on the project was Tony Burroughs, who teaches genealogy at Chicago State University.
Strom Thurmond, of South Carolina, was once considered a symbol of segregation. During his 1948 bid for president, he promised to preserve racial segregation. In 1957, he filibustered for more than 24 hours against a civil rights bill.

But Thurmond was seen as softening his stance later in his long life. He died in 2003, at 100. The longest-serving senator in history, he was originally a Democrat but became a Republican in 1964.

His children have acknowledged that Thurmond fathered a biracial daughter. Essie Mae Washington-Williams' mother was a housekeeper in the home of Thurmond's parents.



Anonymous said...

This just goes to show that God does have a Great sense of humor.
Sucj it up Al.

Anonymous said...

Thurmond died in 2003 at age 100. Sharpton is still alive and in his 70’s. If Sharpton’s great-grandfather was a slave owned by Strom Thurmond’s great-great-grandfather, then there’s a generational problem here. Thurmond’s ancestor would have to be two whole generations ahead of Sharpton’s, which would mean that Sharpton’s ancestor was baby at the time of ownership by the Thurmond ancestor.

Anonymous said...

Doesn't Change anything - He'll still promote racial disputes. Jerk!

Anonymous said...

Another wave created by great wind ( I wonder who blew it? )

Anonymous said...

Geneological report or customized essay to meet his very own needs?
A friendly word for you reverend.
Blacks are known for calling themselvs children of former slaves, and for some reason they get what they want just by cashing in on their color.
Nowdays we all are equal( or at least we should be).
So why dont you just drop it and do what a reverend should- preach peace and love for everyone.

Rock n Roll Express said...

Also in Today's STATE paper...
cut and paste this:

Wisdom Teeth said...

In a series of revelations Sharpton learned:

• His great-grandfather, Coleman Sharpton, was a slave in South Carolina.

• Coleman Sharpton, a woman and two children — believed by genealogists to be his wife and their offspring — were given as a gift to Julia Thurmond and were forced to move to Florida in 1861.

• Julia Thurmond’s grandfather was Strom Thurmond’s great-great-grandfather.

• Once freed, the elderly Coleman Sharpton earned a living as a wood hauler and around 1900 fathered a son, Coleman Sharpton Jr., who would go on to be a minister — like his grandson, the Rev. Al Sharpton.

smartneck said...

al sharpton is a criminal, looking for a way to get racial tension stirred up again.