Friday, October 7, 2022 Oct 7, 2022
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My Cousin AI

By Denise Sharpton |

Sometimes I feel like wearing the slogan of the Bud Dry commercial-“Why Ask Why?”

Just because I’m first cousin to the infamous Reverend AI Sharp-ton, many Dallasites think I should know why Al wears his hair conked, why he lied (if he lied) about the Tawana Brawley case, why he doesn’t lose weight, why he’s so outspoken.

I don’t know. OK?

Sure, being related to a celebrity has its advantages and disadvantages. Sometimes you can get a little respect. But a high-profile relative can be a disadvantage when people try to retaliate against you for his actions.

For instance, there was the time 1 almost didn’t get a public relations contract because someone made il known I was the cousin of Al Sharpton and accused me of being militant like him.

Actually, Al isn’t all bad (here I go again, defending him). He has always had good intentions. I remember when I was in the third grade AI and my family lived together for a New York minute in New York. From time to time we kids would fight with one another. Afterwards. Al would anoint our heads with oil and begin preaching righteousness to us. He was only 10 years old.

Now in his 30s. AI still is preaching righteousness. Whenever he makes the print or broadcast news, whether it’s with a press conference or a protest march or a run for the U.S. Senate, my phone rings like it’s having a convulsion. My friends act as though it’s their duty to keep me informed of Al’s every word and deed, but the favor is really unnecessary. Al and I wear the Sharpton name proudly, but we’re cousins with independent philosophies.

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