Rev. Jeremiah Wright to speak in Detroit at month's end
The one piece of good news for Barack Obama in Rev. Jeremiah Wright's latest plan for a return to the pulpit (of a sort), is that it will occur five days after Pennsylvania's April 22 primary (though in plenty of time to have a potential impact on the May 6 primaries in North Carolina and Indiana.)
The Associated Press reports that Obama's retired minister, whose occasionally inflammatory exhortations on race in particular and the United States in general created major political angst for his one-time parishioner, will deliver the keynote address on April 27 at a dinner in Detroit sponsored by that city's branch of the NAACP.
LaToya Henry, the chapter's communications coordinator, expanded on the invite in an e-mail to Times reporter Ben DuBose. Wright, she said, "has challenged the nation, challenged our comfort zone and stimulated nation-wide discussion on the issues of how we must move forward together as both a nation and a people. We look forward to his participation" at the NAACP gathering.
The dinner's theme, according to Henry, is "A Change is Going to Come." The nation, she said, "is at a crossroads as it relates to the ultimate direction we will take politically, socially and in race relations.... As we prepare for the challenges that we face not only today but as we seek to come together and understand each other as a people for tomorrow, we believe ...
that this is a key moment in history to take it to the next level."
The Detroit NAACP branch, she added, "continues to be bold, progressive and far-reaching in its efforts to both challenge its own membership and the community itself."
It is certainly living up to that pledge with the decision to put Wright into the spotlight.
After the furor surrounding his past remarks erupted in mid-March, Wright had been scheduled later that month to deliver a series of sermons in the Tampa, Fla., area -- a trip he'd been making for years. But those appearances were cancelled amid concerns about the media swarm the black churches hosting Wright would have confronted.
-- Don Frederick
Photo credit: Associated Press