Why Is Al Sharpton Renting an Apartment in Chicago?

The Rev. Al Sharpton (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)
The Rev. Al Sharpton (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

On Sunday in Chicago, while in town for several preaching engagements and to promote his new book, The Rejected Stone, the Rev. Al Sharpton announced that he is renting an apartment on the West Side of Chicago. Sharpton is making good on an announcement he made back in July, saying that he planned on taking up residence in Chicago to help a city whose violent crime has made national headlines. 


According to ABC News, Sharpton will be joined by Martin Luther King III. Together they hope to curb gun violence in the Windy City. "It's to really encourage groups that are already doing work," Sharpton told ABC News. "We're not coming with a new program; we're coming to put a spotlight and to support those that are doing it."

The exact location of Sharpton and King's apartment was not disclosed, but Sharpton will work closely with West Side ministers Ira Acree and Marshall Hatch. Sharpton's plans are also supported by Rep. Danny Davis, who says their move could help bring even more attention to the area. 


But Sharpton made it clear that the move is not for a permanent or even extended stay, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. Instead the apartment will be home base for what he sees as frequent visits. "I'm not moving to Chicago," said the New York resident. "I'm taking an apartment, and we're going to be in at least once a week." In addition to the on-the-streets activism work that Sharpton is planning, the head of the National Action Network also plans to broadcast either his nationally syndicated radio show or his MSNBC show, Politics Nation, from the Second City.

Sharpton's move to Chicago harks back to Martin Luther King Jr.'s move to the same city back in 1965. The civil rights activist moved there and led the Chicago Freedom Movement, an effort designed to improve conditions for black residents of the city. It lasted from 1965 to 1967 and is known as one of the biggest civil rights campaigns to be held in the Northern part of the United States.

Read more at ABC News.

Jozen Cummings is the author and creator of the popular relationship blog Until I Get Married, which is currently in development for a television series with Warner Bros. He also hosts a weekly podcast with WNYC about Empire called Empire Afterparty, is a contributor at VerySmartBrothas.com and works at Twitter as an editorial curator. Follow him on Twitter.

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