Hundreds gathered in a small rural church in southeastern Alabama to remember Ada Essie Sharpton, who passed away at age 87 after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease and dementia. Her famous son lamented his mother’s journey of this country, saying, “When she was born in Springfield, Ohio, she couldn’t vote, had to sit in the back of the bus and was forced to go to segregated schools. In her exit, the first Black President of the United States sent a letter to her funeral,” he said, referring to a note from President Barack Obama.

Raised in Alabama, Ada Sharpton later moved with her husband to New York. Al Sharpton would later find himself entrenched into the rooted essence of Brooklyn, New York, where he would bring college friends to a baptist church to witness his mother be “overcome with the spirit,” not caring about who was watching. In 1989, she moved back to Alabama. Adorned with an arrangement of pink and white roses, Ada Sharpton’s white casket was carried in by members of the Golden Gate Funeral Home, a Dallas-based group known for its singing, rhythmic stepping and crowning of the dead. Mourners at the service included the Rev. Jesse Jackson, Martin Luther King III, NAACP president Ben Jealous, and TV judge Greg Mathis.

Is it no surprise that Al Sharpton was raised by such a great woman?