This story is so rich with symbolism that I couldn't possibly do it justice, but here are a couple choice quotes that leave the mind duly boggled:
Doris Strom Costner, a distant cousin who said she knew the late senator all her life, said Sunday she "never heard of such a thing."
"My momma never would talk to me about nothing like that," Costner said of ancestors who owned slaves. "She only talked to me about good things."
[Genealogists] found that Sharpton's great-grandfather, Coleman Sharpton, was a slave owned by Julia Thurmond, whose grandfather was Strom Thurmond's great-great-grandfather. Coleman Sharpton was later freed.
Sharpton, who ran for president in 2004 on a ticket of racial justice, said he met Thurmond only once in 1991 when he visited Washington, D.C., with the late soul singer James Brown, who knew Thurmond. Sharpton said the meeting was "awkward." [You think that's awkward, imagine if they'd met AFTER this news broke!!!!][/blockquote]