Untold Stories of the Social Justice Movement in America 

by Reverend Al Sharpton 


This is the time. We won’t stop until we change the whole system of justice.”





In the summer of 2020, Reverend Al Sharpton stood on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his “I Have a Dream” speech, preparing to give the keynote address of the Get Your Knee Off Our Necks Commitment March. He noticed an older man in the crowd wearing a button from Dr. King’s 1963 march. The man told Sharpton that he had, in fact, been to the original March on Washington. “And,” he said, “I’ll keep coming back until we see justice.”

While the mainstream media may know the major names of the movement, there are countless lesser-known heroes like this man who “keep coming back,” fighting the good fight to advance equal justice for all. Whether working in civil rights, women’s rights, LGBTQIA rights, or in environmental justice, they heed the call when no one else is listening, often risking their lives and livelihoods in the process.


In RIGHTOUS TROUBLEMAKERS: Untold Stories of the Social Justice Movement in America (Hanover Square Press; 1/11/22), the Reverend Al Sharpton shines a light on everyday people called to do extraordinary things, including:


  • Pauli Murray, whose early work informed Thurgood Marshall’s legal argument for Brown v. Board of Education 
  • Claudette Colvin, who refused to give up her seat on a segregated bus months before Rosa Parks did the same 
  • Gwen Carr, whose private pain in losing her son Eric Garner stoked her public activism against police brutality 
  • Sharpton also gives his personal take on more widely known individuals (Emmett Till, Michael Brown, Breonna Taylor, Trayvon Martin, Tamir Rice, and more) revealing overlooked details, historical connections, and a perspective informed by years of working on the front line of the social justice movement 


At the same time, RIGHTEOUS TROUBLEMAKERS details the tumultuous year following George Floyd’s murder, with Sharpton delivering an up close and personal look at the behind-the-scenes work that forced today’s national reckoning on race. Here, he reveals his relationship with the Floyd family, the emotional moments that impacted him most, and why his work—and ours—isn’t finished, all while offering timeless lessons about the enduring strength and moral courage of the American people. For anyone who wants to be a changemaker or believes that truth and justice are worthwhile pursuits, RIGHTEOUS TROUBLEMAKERS is as inspirational as it is essential.


Rev. Al Sharpton is the host of MSNBC’s “PoliticsNation” and the founder and President of the National Action Network (NAN), one of the leading civil rights organizations in the world. With over 40 years of experience as a community leader, politician, minister and advocate, the Rev. Al Sharpton is one of America’s most-renowned civil rights leaders. Sharpton also hosts the nationally syndicated radio show, “Keepin’ It Real”, which broadcasts in 40 markets, five days a week. He resides in New York. 



by Reverend Al Sharpton

Hanover Square Press

$27.99 / $34.99 CAN

January 11, 2022

ISBN: 9781335639912

Page Count: 304

About Harlequin 

Harlequin is a leading publisher of commercial fiction and narrative nonfiction. The company publishes more than 100 titles a month, in both print and digital formats, that reach audiences globally. Encompassing highly recognizable imprints that span a broad variety of genres, the publisher is home to many award-winning New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling authors. Harlequin is a division of HarperCollins Publishers, the second-largest consumer book publisher in the world. Through HarperCollins’ global publishing program, Harlequin titles are published in 17 countries and 16 languages. For more information, please visit Harlequin.com and Facebook.com/HarlequinBooks. Follow Harlequin on Twitter: @HarlequinBooks. 


PRAISE FOR RISE UP: Confronting a Country at the Crossroads by Reverend Al Sharpton: 


“An ode to the Black lives lost to racial violence… his book shows readers how past and present struggles should guide Americans as they continue the fight for equality for all.” People Magazine

“By sharing his own personal struggles and experiences, Sharpton offers inspirational lessons for today’s social justice activists and supporters of a just world—and for tomorrow’s.”—Booklist

“Don’t be surprised if this book sparks conversation and action.. Rise Up won’t let you down.”  

The Washington Informer

“[Rev. Al] Sharpton mounts an impassioned call for activism…A fervent message in hard times.”  

Kirkus Reviews

“[An] impassioned survey of contemporary American politics… Liberals will be inspired by this well-informed call to action.”Publishers Weekly

“Reading Rise Up was an informative and motivational pleasure to absorb. Full of history, honesty, and valuable suggestions, Rise Up should be a staple in every home, school and library as an essential primer on civil and political rights in America.”–Martin Luther King, III

“Reverend Sharpton has fought on the frontlines for civil rights for decades. As the events of 2020 have shown, that fight is far from over. In this inspiring, personal book, he shows us a path forward. If you want to learn how to use your voice to change a nation, you should study closely this man — and this book.”—Van Jones

“My Bed-Stuy (do or die) brother has been at the forefront of our battles again and again. From way back in da way back to this present revolution the world is in now, Rev. has been about Black Lives Matter from the jump, also at a time when it was not the most popular or hip thing to be about. I look forward, standing next to him, to see, to witness this new energy, this new day that is about to be in these United States of America.”—Spike Lee

“This man is a gift from God to the world. This book is a gift from Al Sharpton to us. Let’s appreciate them both.”  

—Michael Eric Dyson, from the Foreword 

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