Rev. Sharpton scarcely addressed on this issue in his speech to the graduates, much to the disappointment of the throng of media in attendance at the central Virginia school who were hoping that Sharpton would shed new insights into the case which has re-energized the civil rights community. Rev. Sharpton, instead, focused on breaking the chains of miseducation in African American community. “To break the chains on your arms, you must first break the chains of your mind,” said Sharpton to the graduating class who cheered him on in the “call-and-response” tradition of the black church. Sharpton asserted that African Americans must lift up each other through education and business development.
Sharpton asked the audience “who in our community decided it was not black to be educated?” Rev. Sharpton chided some in the community for their continued use of the “N” word, which he feels denigrates the struggles made by earlier civil rights pioneers in the fight for freedom.
He cited a radio confrontation he had with an aspiring rap artist as an example of how using the “N” word hampers the progress of the African American community. Sharpton told the audience that the rapper phoned him from jail asking for his assistance shortly after their confrontation on the radio. Sharpton reminded the graduates that they should thank their parents and others who have supported them during the course of their college years. In closing, Sharpton urged the graduates to become involved in the civil rights struggle for all Americans.
For more information on Rev. Al Sharpton, please visit: www.nationalactionnetwork.net