Democratic presidential contender and U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) was in Harlem Thursday taking part in a time-honored tradition: meeting up with the Rev. Al Sharpton to discuss civil rights.
Over the past several decades, Sharpton has met with quite a few candidates running for president – from Barack Obama to Bernie Sanders – and he uses the opportunity to see where candidates stand on issues impacting the Black community. Although neither Obama nor Sanders received Sharpton’s endorsement for the primary, he applauded Harris’s criminal justice work and said he would consider endorsing her.
“In fact, at twenty minutes (the length of lunch), we talked probably longer than Barack Obama and I did about issues that matter to us, the civil rights community, on criminal justice along with economic inequality,” Sharpton told the The New York Daily News. He added that the two had talked specifically about sentencing disparities and voting rights.
Harris and Sharpton broke bread at Sylvia’s in Harlem where chicken and waffles were on the menu, according to Daily News.
Harris, 54, launched her candidacy for the White House on Martin Luther King Jr. Day during an appearance on Good Morning America. If she becomes the Democratic nominee, it would mark the first time in the nation’s history that an African-American woman would secure the nomination.
Sharpton drew comparisons to the groundswell of supporters backing Harris to supporters who swayed Obama’s way. “She has a lot of support, like Barack Obama did,” he said.
On Wednesday, Harris hired several women of color for her campaign team, adding diversity to her campaign’s senior leadership roles, according to Politico.
Earlier this month, Harris set the record straight after online trolls released a meme that questioned her racial background, saying she was not Black because she grew up in Canada. Her father is from Jamaica and her mother is from India. Harris was born and raised in the United States, but attended high school in Canada.
To the online trolls, Harris responded: “I’m Black, and I’m proud of being Black. I was born Black. I will die Black, and I’m not going to make excuses for anybody because they don’t understand.”
Watch a preview of our exclusive interview with Sen. Kamala Harris in the clip above. The full conversation airs Monday, Feb. 25 on theGrio.com.