This was written before the release of Al Sharpton’s latest book, “The Rejected Stone.” But what many people don’t know is that the book was published by none other than the rapper Lil Wayne, who paid Sharpton handsomely for the book. The story may be considered a cautionary tale for those who are wondering why our most prominent black public figures struggle to get things done. Much of this is due to various forms of corporate and economic servitude which turn financial prosperity into an addiction and liability, rather than an asset.
The article is below. Take away lessons about economic independence from the piece, and understand that we will never achieve the dream of Malcolm X for economic independence if we are taking money from those who are seeking to destroy the black community.
Civil rights activist and politician Rev Al Sharpton announced in June that he was set to publish a book with Cash Money Records’ publishing affiliate, Cash Money Content. The book titled The Rejected Stone will be released under the hip-hop based publisher. Yes, the whole deal sounds very contradictory, given that Al Sharpton has been said to not be a fan of rap music, let alone Cash Money co owner Lil’ Wayne’s music in particular.
Lil Wayne has been heavily criticized as the hip-hop artist who compared Emmett Till’s bruised face to a woman’s v@gina. Massive protests by the family of Emmett Till, as well as readers at YourBlackWorld.net led to Pepsico ending their lucrative relationship with Lil Wayne. As the deal was closed, Al Sharpton stepped in to represent the Till family in negotiations with Lil Wayne and Pepsico. To the surprise of many, the result appears to be that Al Sharpton got a book deal with Lil Wayne.
Reverend Sharpton’s former associate and employee Carl Redding calls him out on this fact in particular. In a letter posted by Rap Rehab, Redding issues directed toward the Reverend himself:
“I recently read that you had penned a book deal with Cash Money, the very company that touts Lil Wayne as one its most recognized artists. Though I wish I could say that I was surprised by this move, I am not. As one who has spent years publicly crusading against the harmful effect of misogynistic lyrics on our young people, it’s clear that your decision to cut a lucrative financial deal with those who propagate such destructive images in our community, is the latest example of your failed leadership. Dr. Martin Luther King, who you claim to emulate, is doing somersaults in his grave. As you know, I was drawn to your social justice work when I came to work for you in 1990. Fresh out of the US Marines, I temporarily put my culinary ambitions on hold to serve as your personal driver and then later, chief of staff. Though you give me no credit, and have attempted to rewrite me out of the history books, it was I who was a founding member of National Action Network and I who even helped to name the social justice organization. Like the dozens of people who worked for you, I believed back then, in your mission and your calling.