Shaun King

Shaun King

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Updated Nov 12, 2015 at 11:10AM EST by Ari Spool.

Added Nov 12, 2015 at 11:10AM EST by Ari Spool.

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Shaun King is a writer and activist well-known for his work with civil rights and social justice. A prominent figure in Black Twitter, King has been responsible for breaking or reporting on many of the racial identity and police brutality controversies of the mid 2010s, including the influential Black Lives Matter movement.


King is originally from Kentucky and attended the historically black Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia. He worked as a teacher and then became a pastor and founded his own church. Even in his early career, he was known as "The Facebook Pastor" for his ability with social media.[1]

After the 2010 Haiti Earthquake, King began founding a series of social media charity sites for sending tents, supplies, and other support to that country; he then founded other sites for charitable giving in the United States. In 2010, one of his projects, Twitchange,[3] won the Mashable award for "Most Creative Social Good Campaign."[2]

Activism and Reporting Career

Some of the first reporting King did was on Twitter, when he worked with a team to evaluate the distance between Officer Darren Wilson and Michael Brown, during the 2014 Ferguson Riots. A Storify stream of the Tweets he made about this work was posted September 19th, 2014, and has over 187,000 views as of November 12th, 2015.[4]

Soon after those tweets went viral, King was hired as a contributor by the progressive political web site the Daily Kos,[5] where he published over 500 posts,[6] including much influential reporting on the death of Sandra Bland, the death of 12 year-old Tamir Rice, and other social justice and racial identity issues like Rachel Dolezal's Racial Identity.

On October 2nd, 2015, King was hired by the New York Daily News as their Senior Justice Writer, a role created for him.[7] In that role, King helped to break the news of The Spring Valley High School Arrest Incident]

Biracial Identity Controversy

On August 19th, 2015, controversial blogger Milo Yiannopoulus wrote an article[9] on the conservative political website Breitbart questioning whether or not King was really biracial, as he had claimed in order to receive the Oprah Scholarship to Morehouse college. Quoting extensively from the work of a white supremacist blogger named Vicki Pate, Yiannopoulus referenced some documents from King's early life where boxes were checked "white" and also King's birth certificate, which named a man who was later found to be white.

King first rebutted the statements by tweeting to contest many of the details of the initial story, then wrote a long blog post on Daily Kos where he said that the man on his birth certificate was not his biological father, and that instead his father was a light-skinned black man with whom his mother had an affair. He also criticized Yiannopoulus for forcing him to reveal these personal details about his family, saying that his mother was a senior citizen and that he was "deeply embarrassed" to have to speak about her in this way to address the criticism.[10]

Search Interest

Note: There is also an American Football player named Shaun King. The massive 2015 spike in interest, however, is the Shaun King referenced here, and refers to the racial identity controversy above.

External References

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Top Comments


in reply to TrueGoober

Except the DNA test that a black activist group has asked him to take to finally put to rest the question of his biracial status, despite being offered thousands of dollars donated to his charity and his "absolute certainty" that his biological father who he "never met" was a light-skinned black man.

But otherwise your right, it takes real guts for a man to speak over his mother, accuse her of having an affair, then attempt to cover up her and his "on paper" father's attempts to defend themselves and reveal the truth.


in reply to Thepyrowasaspy

Yes, it was very decent of him to steal charity money, falsely accuse his mother of adultery (multiple non-rightist sources have discredited his claims, including the woman herself more than once), and insult and attempt to censor actual black activists who express concerns he's being shady.

Amazing how perception of a man can be colored when the reporter has a blatant agenda they're trying to push on readers, isn't it?


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