NEW YORK – The Rev. Al Sharpton met Sen. Strom Thurmond only once – in 1991, while Sharpton was on a visit to Washington, D.C. The encounter was awkward because of the late South Carolina senator’s background as a prominent defender of segregation. “I was not happy to meet him,” Sharpton said of the senator who died in 2003. Their paths intersected again last week when Sharpton learned he is a descendant of a slave owned by Thurmond’s relatives. He was stunned by the information from the New York Daily News, which had obtained it from genealogists who tracked Sharpton’s roots and unearthed the data. “It was probably the most shocking thing in my life,” Sharpton said at a news conference Sunday, the day the tabloid revealed the story. His children have acknowledged that he fathered a biracial daughter, Essie Mae Washington-Williams, whose mother was a housekeeper in the home of Thurmond’s parents. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! The professional genealogists, who work for Ancestry.com, found that Sharpton’s great-grandfather Coleman Sharpton was a slave owned by Julia Thurmond, whose grandfather was Strom Thurmond’s great-great-grandfather. Coleman Sharpton was later freed. “Based on the paper trail, it seems pretty evident that the connection is there,” said Mike Ward, a genealogist with Ancestry.com. The revelations surfaced after the Web site contacted a Daily News reporter who agreed to have his own family tree done. The intrigued reporter then asked Sharpton if he wanted to participate. Sharpton said he told the paper, “Go for it.” The genealogists, who were not paid by the newspaper, uncovered the ancestral ties using a variety of documents that included census, marriage and death records. Strom Thurmond was once considered an icon of racial segregation. During his 1948 bid for president he promised to preserve segregation, and in 1957 he filibustered for more than 24 hours against a civil-rights bill. But Thurmond was seen as softening his stance later in his long life. He died in June of 2003 at the age of 100. One of the longest-serving senators in history, he was originally a Democrat but became a Republican in 1964.
Disabled Letterkenny man Frank Larkin has had his disability allowance reinstated.Wheelchair-user Frank had his €188 weekly allowance suspended because he could not sign on for his payment at his local post office.Frank, 41, found the three disabled parking bays close to the post office on Main Street busy – some with illegally parked cars. He drove around the town several times before deciding not to sign on in April.Frank, of Long Lane, continued to sign on and receive his cash but received a letter on Monday morning from the Department of Social Protection telling him his allowance was being suspended.The letter informed him he had to put his reasons in writing why he did not sign on for his allowance.This morning Frank told Donegal Daily that he had since been contacted by the Disability Allowance office apologising for the incident and lifting the payment suspension. Frank said “They have contacted me and told me my allowance would not be suspended.“They said they were only following procedure and asked me if I could nominate someone to collect my allowance when I cannot collect it.“I’m glad it has been sorted because what they did was simply unfair,” he said.Frank, who has just completed his Higher Diploma in Disability Studies, said he will continue to highlight the problem of people parking illegally in disabled parking bays. VICTORY FOR FRANK! WHEELCHAIR-USER HAS DISABILITY ALLOWANCE REINSTATED was last modified: May 22nd, 2013 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Department of Social and Family Protectiondisability allowanceFrank Larkinsuspended