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August 9th, 2008
10:41 AM ET

After Dr. King, it's still black and white

Program Note: In the next installment of CNN's Black in America series, Soledad O'Brien examines the successes, struggles and complex issues faced by black men, women and families, 40 years after the death of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Watch encore presentation Saturday & Sunday, 8 p.m. ET


We devote several days on the blog to smart insight and commentary related to the special.

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Reverend Al Sharpton
President, National Action Network

It was a brisk Saturday morning in November 2006, and I was en route to the weekly action rally at National Action Network in Harlem when my cell phone rang asking me to intervene at Jamaica Hospital in Queens where a young Black male had been killed by police. On the other end of the phone was Nicole Paultre, a 23-year-old woman who told me that her fiancé, Sean Bell had been shot and killed by the police early that morning.

I could not get anyone on the phone at the hospital where Sean and his friends were, (Trent Benefield and Joseph Guzman, who were also shot). So I turned my car around and rode over to the hospital to obtain more information. That moment started what became the Sean Bell movement for justice, to put an end to police misconduct in communities of color.

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Filed under: Black in America • Rev. Al Sharpton