Hundreds mourn the Rev. Al Sharpton’s mother

Mar 27, 2012, 9:02 PM

Associated Press

NEWVILLE, Ala. (AP) – The funeral for the Rev. Al Sharpton’s mother focused as much on her life as it did on her son and the civil rights movement.

Hundreds of people packed a small rural church in southeastern Alabama to remember Ada Essie Sharpton, who died at 87 on Thursday after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.

“The journey of her existence was the journey of this country,” Al Sharpton said.

When she was born in Springfield, Ohio, she couldn’t vote, had to sit in the back of the bus and was forced to go to segregated schools, he said.

“That was her entry. In her exit, the first black president of the United States sent a letter to her funeral,” he said, referring to a note from President Barack Obama.

Ada Sharpton was raised in Alabama and later moved with her husband to New York. Al Sharpton described taking his college friends in Brooklyn, N.Y., to a Baptist church, where his mother would sing and be “overcome with the spirit,” not caring about who was watching.

She moved back to Alabama in 1989.

Ada Sharpton’s white casket, adorned with an arrangement of pink and white roses, was carried in by members of the Golden Gate Funeral Home _ a Dallas-based group known for its singing, rhythmic stepping and crowning of the dead.

The small 200-seat Center Baptist Church was filled to capacity, with mourners crowding along the wall to hear from different black leaders, including the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King III, NAACP president Ben Jealous and TV Judge Greg Mathis.

Georgetown University sociology professor and radio host Michael Eric Dyson called Ada Sharpton a mother who nurtured a number of the powerful men gathered at the church.

“Al Sharpton’s genius testifies to his mother’s greatness,” Dyson said.

Flava King left from Atlanta with a group of about 12 people to attend the funeral. King said he was a supporter of Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and came to honor Sharpton and his mother.

“We love him, and his mother didn’t even know who he was, and that’s sad,” King said, referring to stories Sharpton has told of his mother not being able to recall the civil rights leader because of her Alzheimer’s. “That’s why we came down _ to show him we know who he is.”

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

United States News

Groundhog handler A.J. Dereume holds Punxsutawney Phil, who saw his shadow, predicting a late sprin...
Associated Press

Punxsutawney Phil sees shadow on Groundhog Day, predicting longer winter

Punxsutawney Phil’s “inner circle” summoned him from his tree stump at dawn on Groundhog Day to learn if he has seen his shadow.
17 hours ago
A hiring sign is displayed outside of a restaurant in Arlington Heights, Ill., Monday, Jan. 30, 202...
Associated Press

Job market still hot, December openings rise to 11 million

U.S. job openings rose to 11 million in December, delivering a setback to the Federal Reserve's effort to cool a hot job market.
2 days ago
(AP Photo/John Locher)...
Associated Press

Is pumping Mississippi River water to the west a solution or dream?

Amid a major drought in the Western U.S., a proposed solution comes up repeatedly: large-scale river diversions.
2 days ago
US Vice President Kamala Harris (R) greets friends and family of Tyre Nichols during his funeral se...
Associated Press

Emotional calls for police reform at Tyre Nichols’ funeral

Vice President Kamala Harris delivered an impassioned speech calling on Congress to pass the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.
2 days ago
Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell speaks during a news conference, Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023, at...
Associated Press

Fed lifts rate by quarter-point but says inflation is easing

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Federal Reserve extended its fight against high inflation Wednesday by raising its key interest rate a quarter-point, its eighth hike since March. And the Fed signaled that even though inflation is easing, it remains high enough to require further rate hikes. At the same time, Chair Jerome Powell said at a […]
2 days ago
The Colorado River Basin supplies water to 40 million people in seven western states. (Photo by Jus...
Kevin Stone

Arizona leaders call out California on Colorado River water negotiations

Arizona politicians are calling for more cooperation from California in negotiations over Colorado River water supply distribution.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Desert Institute for Spine Care photo)...
DESERT INSTITUTE FOR SPINE CARE

Why DISC is world renowned for back and neck pain treatments

Fifty percent of Americans and 90% of people at least 50 years old have some level of degenerative disc disease.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
...
Quantum Fiber

Stream 4K and more with powerful, high-speed fiber internet

Picking which streaming services to subscribe to are difficult choices, and there is no room for internet that cannot handle increased demands.
Hundreds mourn the Rev. Al Sharpton’s mother