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Shaun King (activist)

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Alma mater

Rai King

Jason King, Russ King

Shaun King

The Power of 100

Shaun King (activist) Did Shaun King Mislead Oprah Winfrey About His Race

September 17, 1979 (age 44) (

Writer, civil rights activist

Jeffrey Wayne King, Naomi Kay Fleming

Taeyonna King, Kendi King, Savannah King, Ezekiel King


Jeffery Shaun King (born September 17, 1979) is an American writer and civil rights activist. He is noted for his use of social media to promote religious, charitable, and social causes, including the Black Lives Matter movement. He is the senior justice writer for the New York Daily News, and a political commentator for The Young Turks. Previously, he was a contributing writer for Daily Kos.


Shaun King (activist) ShaunKingjpg

Early life

Shaun King (activist) Rachel Dolezal and Shaun King When black activists are

King grew up in Versailles, Kentucky. He was raised by his white mother and white adoptive father, Jeffrey King. King grew up believing what she later confirmed to him: that his biological father was a light-skinned black man. According to a local police detective, those who knew him were aware of his biracial heritage: "Anyone from around here who knew him knew he was mixed." King attended Huntertown Elementary School and Woodford County High School.

Shaun King (activist) Did Shaun King Mislead Oprah Winfrey About His Race

King attended Morehouse College, a private, historically black men's college in Atlanta, Georgia, where he majored in history. Midway through his education, he had to take a medical leave. Upon his return, he was named an Oprah Winfrey Scholar by Morehouse. Oprah scholars are given financial support and are required to maintain their grade point average and do community service. King fulfilled his community service requirement by tutoring and mentoring students at Franklin Lebby Stanton Elementary School in Atlanta. After graduation in 2002, King was a research assistant for Morehouse history professor Alton Hornsby Jr.


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After graduation, King was a high school civics teacher for about a year and then became a motivational speaker for Atlanta's juvenile justice system. He was then a pastor at Total Grace Christian Center in DeKalb County, Georgia. In 2008, King founded a church in Atlanta called "Courageous Church". He made use of social media to recruit new members and was known as the "Facebook Pastor".

Shaun King (activist) Shaun King an activist facing questions about his race

In March 2010, while still a pastor, he founded as a subsidiary of Courageous Church and used eBay and Twitter to raise $1.5 million to send tents to Haiti after the 2010 Haiti earthquake. Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria was a spokesperson for the campaign. This inspired him to launch, a charity auction site. TwitChange held Twitter charity auctions on eBay where celebrities offered to retweet winning bidders' tweets in exchange for support of a particular charity. One campaign raised funds to build an orphanage in Bonneau, Haiti. In 2010, TwitChange won the Mashable Award for "Most Creative Social Good Campaign".

In 2012, King resigned from the Courageous Church, citing personal stress and disillusionment. That same year he and web designer Chad Kellough founded, a charity site that used voting to select a particular person's story and then raise money for that story until its goal was met. The money went to an organization which provided for the person's needs, not to the person individually. After one goal was met, the next story in line would then get funds raised. HopeMob initially raised funds to build their platform in January 2012 on the crowdfunding site Kickstarter. Their campaign raised about $125,000.

In 2014, he and two co-inventors, Ray Lee and Vincent Tuscano, were awarded U.S. patent 8,667,075, "System and method for implementing a subscription-based social media platform". This patent was filed by the startup he founded @Upfront.

In 2015, he wrote the self-help book The Power of 100.

On October 2, 2015, the New York Daily News announced that it was hiring King to the new position of senior justice writer, where he will focus on reporting and commentary on social justice, police brutality and race relations.

On December 28, 2016, Cenk Uygur announced that King had been hired as a political commentator for The Young Turks.


King has written extensively about incidents in the Black Lives Matter movement, gaining prominence during the events following the shooting of Michael Brown. King wrote an article analyzing the Brown crime scene, and argued that the evidence suggested that officer Darren Wilson's life was not in danger during the shooting.

King became a contributing blogger for the politically liberal website the Daily Kos in September 2014. His contributions to the website have focused on civil rights, violence in Ferguson, Missouri, and Charleston, South Carolina, as well as allegations of police brutality, especially toward the black community. In August 2015, he launched Justice Together, an organization to identify police brutality and lobby local politicians for change. To the surprise of many of the group's members, King unilaterally disbanded the organization in the fall of 2016.

King announced that he would leave the Democratic Party after the 2016 election due to allegations of corruption and lack of neutrality in the party during the primaries.

In September 2016, King proposed an Injustice Boycott for later that year in December.

Tamir Rice fundraising

King has raised money for multiple causes including the Tamir Rice shooting, and various incidents where the Black Lives Matter movement has been involved. Through the fund-raising website,, King raised $60,000 for Rice's family. Rice, a 12-year-old resident of Cleveland, Ohio, was killed in 2014 by two Cleveland city policemen after they responded to a complaint "of a male black sitting on a swing and pointing a gun at people."

After learning the child had not been buried as of five months after the shooting, and the child's mother had moved into a homeless shelter, he started the fund to assist the Rice family; however, family attorney Timothy Kucharski stated in May 2015 that neither he nor the Rice family had heard of King or the fundraiser, nor had they received any money. The money raised was then seized by the court and placed into Tamir Rice's estate instead of being freely available to the family. King and the Rice family's new legal counsel, Benjamin Crump, then started a second charity drive with the proceeds going directly to the family. An additional $25,000 was raised.

Personal life

He is married with five children. Three of his children are biological with his wife and two are by custody and adoption. He has had foster children, nieces and nephews stay with him. He has written extensively about his experiences as a biracial person.

High school assault

One of his experiences in high school was what he considered a hate crime assault. King stated a "dozen rednecks" had beaten him and the injuries caused him to miss a portion of two years of high school due to multiple spinal surgeries. A band teacher, two fellow students from King's high school, as well as King's wife, posted their recollection of the event to Facebook, backing King's account.

The detective who investigated the case in 1995 described King's injuries as "minor". The associated police report noted that the incident revolved around a fight involving only one other student who defended his girlfriend after being allegedly threatened by King. The report did not indicate the incident was racially motivated. There is no mention of a "hate crime" either with local police or with the FBI. Keith Broughton, the investigating detective, said he interviewed six witnesses put forth by the school's principal, including a teacher who broke up the fight. All of them described it as a one-on-one altercation.

An anonymous source who described himself as a family member of King's told CNN's Don Lemon that the fight was prompted by the fact that King was a white man dating a black girl. A number of other eyewitnesses have described the assault as clearly being motivated by King being perceived as black, describing how he was routinely attacked with racial slurs because of his curly black hair.

Questions regarding race

In August 2015, conservative websites questioned King's biracial identity based on information from King's birth certificate which lists Naomi Fleming and Jeffrey Wayne King as Shaun King's parents, both of whom are white. King said that the man listed on his birth certificate is not his biological father, and that his mother has told him his biological father is a light-skinned black man. King and his supporters expressed concern that such questions were an attempt to distract from the Black Lives Matter movement.


Shaun King Wikipedia