The black community in Chicago recently welcomed two new, high-profile residents–Rev. Al Sharptonand Martin Luther King III. The duo made good on their promise in July to move to the Windy City to help eliminate gun violence in urban neighborhoods.
Sharpton reportedly leased a West Side apartment Sunday. King has volunteered his services and plans to establish a temporary home in the area. The grey haired activist/broadcaster said along with King, he wants to spotlight the people and the efforts fighting the gun violence epidemic in Chicago.
“It’s to really encourage groups that are already are doing work,” Sharpton told ABC Chicago. “We’re not coming with a new program, we’re coming to put a spotlight and to support those that are doing it.”
Sharpton also maimed the “egos” of some local anti-violence activists, telling the Sun-Times it’s time for them to “stop acting like gangbangers themselves and stop fighting over turfs.”
Sharpton and King aren’t saying which West Side neighborhood they’ve chosen to live, though Illinois Congressman Danny Davis is hopeful “the whole West Side” will benefit.
“We’ve got some issues over here and we need all hands on deck and we welcome even someone who doesn’t reside here,” he says.
The National Action Network leader and host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” has divulged plans to broadcast his shows from the Windy City during his time in town.
In July, Sharpton told the Associated Press his temporary relocation loosely mirrors what Martin Luther King Jr. did in the mid-1960s, when the iconic civil rights leader rented an apartment in Chicago.
“We don’t have all the answers, but we need to raise all the questions publicly and consistently,” Sharpton said. “Consistent attention forces a consistent change.