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Hardcover Al on America Book

ISBN: 0758203500

ISBN13: 9780758203502

Al on America

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Book Overview

Reverend Al Sharpton, who has just announced his intention to run for President of the United States in 2004, here delivers his manifesto for change and puts forth a powerful, often controversial, and inspiring vision of a new America - one that is inclusive of all Americans, not just a chosen few. A long-time civil rights activist and one of the most charismatic black speakers in America, Sharpton here presents his positions on the key issues that...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

"Say it loud;I'm black and I'm proud."

If there were no injustice and if there were no racism;there'd be no need for Al Sharpton.I have been seeing appearances of Al Sharpton for years but only in bits and pieces as doled out by the Party and Media.All presented with the air that he was just a lightweight and someone the Democrats had to humor for the Black/Latino vote;and not someone they had to take seriously. In this book we see a giant of a man who understands what a great loss it is to America to have somewhere in the order of 30% of the citizens excluded from what the rest of the people take for granted.Many people might think that Crime is America's greatest problem,but that is a minor problem compared to racism,prejudice,lack of opportunity,morality,marginalization and so forth that essentially excludes so many from what America is all about. When you stop and think about it,95% of the Black vote has gone to the Democrats and a person like Sharpton is still not taken seriously.What must he think when hears the other leaders of his party,give lip service to his concerns,criticize the Republicans for not caring about anyone but themselves;and then see Powell and Rice in the Bush cabinet. It's not hard to agree with the things Sharpton says,the real issue is how to correct them and what does it take for either of the two parties to have the will to make the changes.There are enough people who are being left out that need the changes Al talks about, that the only way they can get results is to vote for the party who will deliver for them. Although Sharpton is painted as a Leftist;I think he really doesn't believe that big government,socialism,handouts,entitlements are the long term solution to injustice.In fact he suggests several times,empowering people to pull themselves up by their own bootstraps,is the answer. It is hard to imagine any of those seeking leadership in the Democratic party providing the solutions Sharpton is looking for. It is going to take a massive shift in the way government is elected and run. Maybe something along a senerio like this.Al finally concludes that the Democrats have already been given the Black/Latino vote too many times without results.Let Sharpton approach the Republican party with that large vote support and broker a deal.How about this Rice for President ,use capitalism instead of socialist programs to effect change.Create a Secretary of Empowerment,whose mission would be to empower those who have been excluded to take responsibility for themselves. Over the door of the office of Secretary of Empowerment would be enscribed: "We may not have put ourselves on the floor,but we damn sure better learn how to get up.And until we do,the question remains, 'Are we worthy of the legagy we inherited'". To complete the picture the person sitting behind the desk in that office;who else but Reverend Al Sharpton.You don't think things would start to change!!

Leader with Specifics, with Dignity, with Persistence

Edit of 21 Dec 02 to add comment and links. New Comment: Oprah Winfrey has replaced Al Sharpton as the leader of black America, and while Barack Obama is a rising star and has already earned my vote, Al Sharpton is still, in my view, an essential voice and spirit. See links below for why. Black Commentator noted in November that Al Sharpton has assumed the mantle of leadership for black America, and that it is highly likely that he will receive a majority of the black votes, at least in the South. For that reason alone, this book is *must reading* for every Democratic and non-Republican voter. Below I summarize a few highlights from this rich book that took an afternoon to absorb: 1) Reverend Sharpton is strongest in his articulation of the hypocrisy of America, its lip service to slogans. I take him at face value when he speaks of the need to unite the country again around its values, and when he speaks of the emerging black/Latino coalition that resonates on the street level. 2) He lists some of his role models, and it merits comment that three of the four are pioneers of non-violence: Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Nelson Mandela, and Mahatma Ghandi. Later on the in book Reverend Sharpton discusses James Brown and Adam Clayton Powell as length, and I found his account of their merits and his lessons drawn from them to be compelling and credible. 3) Fidel Castro comes in for special mention, as do Ronald Reagan and Minister Louis Frarakhan, and I have to give Reverend Sharpton very high marks for directness and accuracy. Others, those with less integrity, might have left Fidel Castro out for fear of the kind of unethical attacks it might unleash against him from the extremist Republicans. I for one agree with Reverend Sharpton, as I agree with his view that the embargo against Cuba should be ended immediately. 4) He is powerful and convincing when he addresses the prison-industrial complex, a complex as threatening to America's long-term security and prosperity as the more well known military-industrial complex. As he points out, prisons are big business, and politicians on pay-offs have every incentive to keep pumping out contracts for major construction and related services including guard employment. 5) Reverend Sharpton is intellectual and emotional dynamite when he describes the Democratic Leadership Council (DLC) as an anti-Rainbow Coalition organization, and Bill Clinton (and by extension, Joe Lieberman) as rich boys eager to stay to the right and reap the benefits, rather than true Democrats committed to delivering people from poverty. In brief, Al Sharpton has to run for President precisely because neither the DLC nor Dean are unwilling to reach out to and represent black America in the truest sense of the word. On this basis, I see Ralph Nader's 2000 campaign in a different light--Nader was campaigning for those that the DLC had shut out of the Democratic Process, and Al Gore was too slow to understand that he was leavi

Words of vision, courage and faith

In the book AL ON AMERICA by Reverend Al Sharpton, the civil rights activist and 2004 presidential hopeful states his positions on some of the problems affecting American citizens. As the presidential campaigns heat up between now (I write this April 14, 2003) and Election Day, 2004, compare what Reverend Sharpton says in this book to the platforms of other candidates. Tell me if Sharpton doesn't understand what Americans need.In AL ON AMERICA's latter chapters, Reverend Sharpton tells his side of the story regarding some of the more controversial incidents of his career. I find myself comparing Sharpton to the late Martin Luther King, Jr. The media reported half-truths and lies about Dr. King while he was alive but his accomplishments outlived those falsehoods; today we remember King for what he represented. Reverend Sharpton has suffered similar media mistreatment; in time, we will appreciate Sharpton for his triumphs.Unfortunately, AL ON AMERICA, despite the help of writer Karen Hunter, at times is not well written. Sometimes it struck me as a "draft" in need for further rewrites. Had Reverend Sharpton and Ms. Hunter taken more time rewriting, the book would flow better. I even caught one factual error, not that it matters much - Sharpton refers to musician James Brown getting his start in "the late nineteen-sixties" when in fact the singer had been making records since the nineteen-fifties.Mistakes and stilted style aside, tell me if these words from AL ON AMERICA do not move you:"On our currency and in the courthouses are the words 'In God We Trust.' It's easy to trust God . . . If you get sick, you can call on Him. If you're down, He'll lift you up. It's hard not to trust God. The question is, can God trust you? Can He depend on you the way you depend on Him? . . . During the days following the terror attacks on this nation, the number-one song was 'God Bless America.' The question is, when is America going to bless God? When are we going to take care of the children, take care of the elderly, feed the hungry? God has already blessed America from sea to shining sea. When do we bless God?"In 2004, if someone were to survey Americans on the major issues, I would bet they agree more with Reverend Al Sharpton than anyone else running for president. Read AL ON AMERICA. Then vote for Al Sharpton.

Will make you laugh and think

The Rev. Al is quite a character. His views on hip-hop music, Bill Clinton, class struggle, and other issues are quite a hoot, but even when you don't agree with him, he makes you think. As the Rev. Al holds forth on the various issues of the day, this book will date rather quickly due to much of the subject matter as is the case of most books on current political events. But take a trip through the mind of Rev. Al. You'll laugh and you'll get mad at points, but you will think afterwards.


I am a huge fan of Rev. Sharpton. A lot of people don't understand him mostly because they haven't taken the time to listen. Well, Sharpton sets the records straight in this book -- buy it. I thank him for keeping in the spirit of Frederick Douglas -- agitate, agitate, agitate!! Rev., you have my vote!
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