I have been following this story. Al Sharpton is a descendent of a slave owned by Strom Thurmond or his family.
And I just found this:
Here’s the truth:
Reverend Al Sharpton’s great-grandfather Coleman Sharpton was owned by a man named Alexander Sharpton. Alexander Sharpton had a son named Jefferson Sharpton who married a woman named Julia Thurmond. Julia was Strom Thurmond’s first cousin, twice removed.
Translation: Strom Thurmond’s great-grandfather had a brother whose daughter married into a family who owned the Reverend Sharpton’s great-grandfather.
Now that is about as tenuous a connection as a person could possibly have and still be related. To claim that Strom’s family owned Sharpton’s is a construct intended to generate a visceral reaction in the public. It is a LIE for all intents and purposes.
And it's backed up by Eugene Robinson of the WaPo.