Some of Thurmond's relatives said the connection also came as a surprise to them. A niece, Ellen Senter, said she would speak with Sharpton if he were interested.
"I doubt you can find many native South Carolinians today whose family, if you traced them back far enough, didn't own slaves," said Senter, 61, of Columbia, S.C. She added: "And it is wonderful that (Sharpton) was able to become what he is in spite of what his forefather was."
Correction: what YOUR forefather was. You racist.