Wright to speak in Memphis - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Wright to speak in Memphis

By Jamel Major - bio | email | Follow us on Twitter

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - What he preached from the pulpit caused a firestorm for Barack Obama during the presidential campaign.  Now, Reverend Jeremiah Wright is causing his own controversial debate here in the Mid-South.

Student Philip Wafula is concerned about the Rev. Jeremiah Wright's upcoming speaking appearance at the University of Memphis.

"Him changing people's perceptions about Obama without having the true or full information - that's probably my biggest fear," Wafula said.

Wright will take part in an academic conference called "The Obama Phenomenon".  He is expected to talk about his role in the presidential campaign last year.  However, some critics are worried about the controversial comments Wright made as Barack Obama's pastor at Trinity United Church in Chicago.

The Benjamin Hooks Institute for Social Change is sponsoring the event and invited Wright to speak.

"Reverend Wright clearly had a profound effect on some aspects of how president Obama views the world in terms of class issues, race issues, economic issues and social justice issues," said the Hooks Institute's Daphene McFerren.

Wright is also expected to receive a $4,000 honorarium for his visit to Memphis.  Some people are wondering where that money will come from. 

"It would be interesting to find out who is actually providing the money for him to come, but it's really none of the student's business," student Andrew Knote said.

McFerren says Wright's expenses will be paid by the Hooks Institute through private funds.

Wright is scheduled to speak at the Rose Theatre on the University of Memphis campus Friday at 6pm.  The event is free and open to the public.

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