James Brown turkey giveaway to continue in Augusta
AUGUSTA, Ga. — A Thanksgiving tradition sponsored by soul legend James
Brown was continued the first year after his death by civil rights
activist the Rev. Al Sharpton.
Brown’s annual turkey giveaway went on in his absence Monday at Dyess Park in Augusta, Brown’s hometown.
As Brown used to, Sharpton gave away the first turkey. Brown founded the giveaway in 1991.
More than 1,000 turkeys are usually given away at the pre-Thanksgiving
event, said the Rev. Larry Fryer, who assisted Brown with previous
The Brown family also will continue Brown’s annual Christmas toy giveaway on Dec. 20.
“We’re the ones who decided to do what we know dad would have wanted us
to do,” his daughter, Deanna Brown Thomas, said. “These are two events
that held dearest to Dad’s heart.”
Brown died of heart failure on Dec. 25 last year while hospitalized in
Atlanta for treatment of pneumonia. He was 73.
Sharpton was a longtime confidant of Brown who delivered eulogies at funeral ceremonies in Augusta and New York.
The family has asked for donations to keep the events alive. An account
set up at First Bank of Georgia had about $4,500 in donations as of
last Friday, a bank representative said.
Thomas said her famous father left no doubt among his children that he wanted them to carry on this tradition.
“Daddy told me one time, ‘I expect for y’all to continue this,’” she
said. “And he ain’t just any daddy. He’s James Brown.”