DANBURY — He is a civil rights leaders, a self-described “agitator” who inspires passions among both those who support the causes he advocates and those who oppose them.
But before the Rev. Al Sharpton was a national figure, he was a preacher, delivering his first sermon in a Brooklyn church at the age of 4, and his ability to inspire, instruct, lecture, cajole and in some cases offend, has only increased over the decades.
On Sunday, Sharpton’s audience was the nearly 300 people who came to celebrate the 115th anniversary of the New Hope Baptist Church, and by the time he finished speaking, at least some of the worshippers appeared almost ready to follow him to his next appearance in Arizona, where he will be participating in a protest against the state’s recently enacted law cracking down on illegal immigration.
“Why do you care about the Latinos?” Sharpton said, paraphrasing the question he said some people have asked him.
“In the dark in Arizona, they’re not going to know the difference between the Latinos and you,” was his response. “We must fight for what is right.”