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speaking out

After 'horrifying' personal attacks, Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King reaffirms he is biracial

A prominent Black Lives Matter activist is speaking out about his racial identity after several conservative websites posted articles alleging he is lying about being biracial.

On Thursday, Shaun King told The Washington Post that he is the son of a white woman and a black man whose identity he does not know. The white man who is listed on his birth certificate is not his biological father, he said, and he realized at the age of 8 that he was likely biracial. "The reports about my race, about my past, and about the pain I've endured are all lies," he said in a statement. "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, 35, said he is "not ashamed of it, or who I am," and said that about 20 years ago, his pastor told him "this was not a mess or my doing and it was not my responsibility to fix." King, who writes about police brutality and racism for the liberal website Daily Kos, said he finds it "horrifying" that his "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." King told the Post he spoke with his mother on Wednesday for the first time at length about his father's identity, and believes the attacks are a coordinated attempt to tarnish his new anti-police brutality organization, Justice Together, which will launch August 28.