Al Sharpton, Strom Thurmond linked through slavery

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NEW YORK -- U.S. civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton is amused after learning his relatives were once slaves owned by relatives of late Sen. Strom Thurmond,

The New York Daily News said Sharpton was in disbelief when he learned that his great-grandfather's family was once owned by a distant relative of the late South Carolina senator.

"I have always wondered what was the background of my family," Sharpton said. "But nothing -- nothing -- could prepare me for this."

The link was made by genealogists, who used historical documents to prove that Coleman Sharpton, along with a woman and two children thought to be his family, were owned by Julia Thurmond.

The late senator's great-great-grandfather was Julia Thurmond's grandfather.

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