A new report says Tennessee State University officials are paying nearly $50,000 to the Rev. Al Sharpton to guest lecture a course about political science and social justice.
Sharpton reportedly holds the title of Distinguished Guest Lecturer.
This, according to a new report from Campus Reform, which reported that Sharpton is teaching for one semester.
Officials at Tennessee State University, based in Nashville, did not return The Tennessee Star’s repeated requests for comment Wednesday.
“Tennessee State University is paying MSNBC host Al Sharpton $48,000 to be a “Distinguished Guest Lecturer” for the spring semester, lasting from January 19 May 3, according to Sharpton’s contract with the university, a copy of which Campus Reform obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request,” according to the publication.
“In comparison, the average salary in the U.S. is $66,665 per year, just $18,665 more than what Sharpton will make from his gig at TSU in a period of five months.”
Writers for Campus Reform said they had asked TSU officials to confirm if taxpayers are funding Sharpton’s salary for this position. But university officials reportedly would not respond to the publication.
As The Tennessee Star reported in December, TSU officials described Sharpton as an “icon,” who “brings wealth” to politics. Sharpton said at the time that he would teach about political science and social justice from the lens of recent cases.
In the late 1980s, Sharpton spoke in support of Tawana Brawley , a woman who accused a group of White men of kidnap and rape. Brawley, who also accused the men of writing racial slurs on her body, was dismissed by grand jury members when they determined she fabricated the story. In 1998, county prosecutor Steven Pagones won a $65,000 defamation lawsuit against Sharpton, who had accused him of being one of the attackers.
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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Al Sharpton” by Al Sharpton. Background Photo “Tennessee State University” by Tennessee State University.