Christmas With James Brown and His ‘Son’, Rev. Al Sharpton

By Gentle Jones

Christmas impacts Reverend Al Sharpton deeply each year, since December 25, 2006 is the day he lost “surrogate father” James Brown.

“He made soul music a world music,” Sharpton told the Associated Press.

“What James Brown was to music in terms of soul and Hip-Hop, rap, all of that, is what Bach was to classical music. This is a guy who literally changed the music industry. He put everybody on a different beat, a different style of music. He pioneered it.”

James Brown Interestingly, Rev. Al Sharpton vowed to grow his hair after James Brown told him that his locks were a source of strength, as in the biblical story of Sampson and Delilah.

Rachel Noerdlinger recalled James Brown asking Rev. Sharpton to style his hair in the same manner as Brown’s, when Brown took a young Al Sharpton to the White House to meet George Bush Sr. in 1981.

James Brown introduced Reverend Al Sharpton to the Vice President of the United States as his “son.”

Rev. Sharpton promised to wear the style so long as Mr. Brown was alive.

When Mr. Brown passed Rev. Sharpton vowed to continue the tradition.

Rapper Snoop Dogg was similarly instructed by Mr. Brown to grow his hair and to this day also wears his hair long.

“That’s my Godfather,” Snoop Dogg said. “The hardest working man in show business of all time. He’ll be missed, but his music and his legacy will live on through me in every way you can imagine.”

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