(The Washington Post) – After coming under fire by a slew of conservative Web sites that claimed he lied about his biracial identity, prominent social justice activist Shaun King told The Washington Post Thursday that he is biracial because he is the son of his white mother and a black man whose identity he does not know. The white man whose name appears on King’s birth certificate, he says, is not his father.
“The reports about my race, about my past, and about the pain I’ve endured are all lies. My mother is a senior citizen. I refuse to speak in detail about the nature of my mother’s past, or her sexual partners, and I am gravely embarrassed to even be saying this now, but I have been told for most of my life that the white man on my birth certificate is not my biological father and that my actual biological father is a light-skinned black man,” King said in a statement to The Post that he also published at Daily Kos. “This has been my lived reality for nearly 30 of my 35 years on earth. I am not ashamed of it, or of who I am—never that—but I was advised by my pastor nearly 20 years ago that this was not a mess of my doing and it was not my responsibility to fix it. It is horrifying to me that my most personal information, for the most nefarious reasons, has been forced out into the open and that my private past and pain have been used as jokes and fodder to discredit me and the greater movement for justice in America.”
His statement, which King has described as his family’s darkest secret, was prompted by articles in recent days claiming that King — one of the most well-known activists in the Black Lives Matter protest movement — was lying about his biracial identity. As evidence, critics have cited his birth certificate, which is signed by King’s mother, whose name appears on the document as Naomi Fleming, and Jeffrey Wayne King, a Kentucky man who is white.