HUNTSVILLE, Ala. – Internationally renowned civil rights activist Al Sharpton made an appearance at Oakwood University Sunday night.
The Oakwood University Seventh Day Adventist Church hosted a special community assembly that started at 6 PM. Senior Pastor Dr. Carlton Byrd presented a message emphasizing unity through diversity, which was followed by a response from Reverend Sharpton.
Reverend Sharpton is the founder of the National Action Network. He has dedicated his life to the fight for justice and equality. The assembly kicks off the Black History Month celebration at Oakwood University Church.
“You were not born for a season, you were born for a reason,” said Sharpton. “Some will say well I’m not into this marching to keep voting rights. How do you think we got voting rights?”
The activist had some strong words towards Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions regarding his nomination as attorney general.
“He should stand up and say he will enforce the laws of equal rights. And if he cannot do those things, he should not be confirmed,” said Sharpton.
Jeanne Shrader came to hear Sharpton speak. Shrader said she is a Trump supporter and was curious as to what Sharpton would say.
“I thought that Al Sharpton was worse than what he sounded tonight. He seems like he’s very sincere in helping people,” Shrader said.
Shrader voted for President Trump. She said one thing she disagrees with is some of Sharpton’s rhetoric regarding the President.
“I believe that he respects Trump, but I do believe he is steering people away from what our President believes is best for our country,” Shrader said.
“If you have a strong opinion, people are going to disagree with you,” Aisha McLeary said.
McLeary is a student at Oakwood University. She said Rev. Sharpton inspires her.
“I don’t believe that he is a divider,” said McLeary. “What I’ve heard tonight is calling people to band together for what they believe in instead of trying to break people up. He’s not trying to break people up. He’s not trying to start fights. He’s trying to unite people.”