Sharpton encourages African American voters to go to the polls - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Lori Brown

Sharpton encourages African American voters to go to the polls

Al Sharpton speaks at Saturday night's event. Al Sharpton speaks at Saturday night's event.

A multi-state campaign urging African American voters to go to the polls in this year's presidential primaries visited Memphis' Mason Temple Saturday night, where Rev. Al Sharpton delivered an impassioned speech.

The event, held by PowerPAC, was aimed at getting African Americans to vote in Tennessee's upcoming presidential primary. Sharpton said his goal was to urge African Americans to hold politicians accountable on the issues that affect them.

"Whoever people decide to vote for is less important to me than what they're voting for," Sharpton said.
 
Sharpton added he has not decided which candidate he will endorse, because he's not yet clear on who best represents the interests of the African American Community.
 
"We can get excited about Obama doing well, and Hillary doing well," he said. "The question is, when the dust settles, what has happened for the people?"

At times during his speech Saturday, Sharpton seemed disenchanted will all the Democratic candidates.
 
"Governor Huckabee went to South Carolina and defended the confederate flag and not one Democrat took him on," he told the crowd.
 
As Sharpton spoke from the same place where Dr. Martin Luther King spoke the day before his assassination, he lamented the lack of progress for African Americans forty years later.
    
"Today, the income level between blacks and whites is the same gap as it was forty years ago," he said. "Today we're number one in eleven worst diseases in America."

PowerPAC's goal is to increase the African American vote in Memphis by three to five percent on February 5th.


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