Al in the Family

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Sharpton at the Apollo service for James Brown in December.Photo: Getty Images


When the news broke over the weekend that Al Sharpton is descended from slaves owned by relatives of Senator Strom Thurmond, we waited with baited breath for the Rev's reaction. For a second, it seemed as though the massive irony, the sheer neatness of it — surely one of God's less subtle jokes — had done something previously thought unfeasible: shut that most garrulous of men up. In his original reaction to the big reveal, as relayed by the News, Sharpton barely says anything other than "Nothing could prepare me for this." Thankfully, 24 hours passed, and Al got back in the saddle. His follow-up to yesterday's news? Demanding a DNA test to check if, perchance, he is related to the senator by blood (read: if one of Thurmond's ancestors had raped one of Sharpton's). Perhaps despicably, we find ourselves rooting for "yes." For one thing, considering Strom's demonstrably hearty genes, we'd be able to look forward to a good hundred years of Al. For another, someone must be furiously pumping out that screenplay as we speak — with Peter O'Toole and Forest Whitaker already attached.

I Need to Know the Blood Truth [NYDN]