By J.P. Hervis
At 6:30pm Tuesday, the man at the center of controversy in the capitol city --will speak at Jackson city hall.
Imari Obadele, former president of the Republic of New Afrika, was convicted of conspiracy in 1972 for his involvement in the RNA 11 shooting where a Jackson police lieutenant was killled and another officer and FBI agent wounded.
There were several heated arguments between some council members, Obadele, and his supporters this afternoon the differences remained civil, but the feelings among all involved are passionate.
Dr. L Horne had one thing to say to Jackson city council members Tuesday morning. "I know nothing of Dr. Obadele, only what I've heard, but if his reputation is of such that he is a divisive person, it does not move this city forward."
Following that, Obedele followed Horne at the podium during public comment period, shaking his hand along the way. Horne left when Obadale began speaking
Discussions of whether a man convicted for conspiracy in connection with the Lewis Street shooting of '71, should speak during a black history program in city hall followed.
Councilman Kenneth Stokes said, "We can ask the the questions, the RNA 11, where are they? What happened?" Stokes stood by his invitation of Obadele, announcing again his appearance tuesday night. "The truth will be told; the guest speaker Doctor Imari Obadele: advocate, renowned educator, human rights activist historian."
When speaking to council, Obadele asked the city to support a resolution asking the U.S. government to apologize for slavery asking for restitution. He briefly spoke of the shooting. "Just think of yourself at 6:30 in the morning. They shoot up your house; what would you do?"
Council members began chiming in.
Bo Brown said, "Dr. Obadele has payed his dues to society."
Margaret Barrett Simon said, "We have some wonderful people here in Jackson; that we all work together to do what's best for our city and not toward futher dividing out races."
Councilman Marshand Crisler, who opposes Obadlee speaking in city hall, met after the council meeting with Obadele. The topic: the shooting in August of 71. The conversation was cordial. In the end the two didn't see eye to eye. Obadele left set to return Tuesday evening