Real Al Sharpton Now, Not a Hero, Not the Villain

The real Al Sharpton is neither hero nor villain, but he’s something many Americans can’t handle: an outspoken man of color.

By David Stone

Assorted Ideas, Large & Small

(Note: YRB executive editor Jonn Nubian, our friend and Roosevelt Island neighbor gave us accesses to this story plus permission to use some great images.)

Sharpton’s been around for a long time, a preacher, a troublemaker, a shoulder to cry on. But in an astonishingly comprehensive, unpretentious interview with  Allison Kugel in YRB magazine, we see he’s all of that. He’s a complete package worthy of an American leader.

The real Al Sharpton, image courtesy of YRB Magazine.

It’s not lost on us that, during his adolescence, both his mentor, Martin Luther Kind, and Malcom X were assassinated. And King suffered illegal FBI harassment until his death.

Idolizing Dr. Martin Luther King, Reverend Al Sharpton started work early.

Critics routinely attack Sharpton for his views, and he once spent 90 straight days in jail.

“People have called me an ambulance chaser, but we are the ambulance.” 

Real Al Sharpton in YRB interview.

Who is the real Al Sharpton…?

What makes this interview so worth reading is how Kugel’s carefully crafted questions bring out a Sharpton we don’t often see.

And for a change, that means a truly objective view.

A wise man choses his friends carefully.

We see a a real Al Sharpton who knows how to fight, is humble and spiritual, and understands who his friends are. And who they are not.

Click here to read the full YRB interview…

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