Newark Mayor Ras Baraka Brokers Peace Between Mark Thompson And Afrika The Great

Newark Mayor Ras Baraka Brokers Peace Between Mark Thompson And Afrika The Great

Ras Baraka
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka speaks during a prayer service for New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy at the Cathedral Basilica of the Sacred Heart, Friday, Jan. 12, 2018, in Newark, N.J. New Jersey’s next governor is kicking off a series of events leading to his inauguration. Murphy and Lt. Gov.-elect Sheila Oliver plan to visit various towns on Saturday to promote opportunities for transit. Events are planned on Sunday and Monday before they are sworn into office at the War Memorial in Trenton on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

A major riff between two of New Jersey’s most prominent Black activists has been squashed with the help of Newark Mayor Ras Baraka.

Baraka helped bring about a reconciliation between journalist Mark Thompson and activist Thomas Afrika Ibiang, whose highly publicized quarrel led to a physical confrontation. Baraka organized and facilitated a sit-down discussion between the two men at an area cafe.

“Today was an historic day, we were able to talk about these things. We were able to squash whatever negative energy existed between these two … [a]nd people who want to see progress for our people will support this and agree with this,” said Mayor Baraka, who is the son of poet-activist, Amiri Baraka.

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“During the session, Thompson apologized to Afrika, whom he punched in the face at a gentrification town hall in Newark on April 5, 2019,” ARK Republic reported.

“We’ve come too far, even in this climate, to be divided. Our common enemy is white supremacy,” said Thompson, a regular on MSNBC’s, “AM with Joy Ann Reid.” The physical altercation also cost Thompson his job at Sirius XM satellite.

Here’s how it all happened: Afrika and Thompson were taking part in an impromptu interview at the National Emergency Summit on Gentrification, a community gathering hosted by Baraka under the City of Newark at New Jersey Institute of Technology. The purpose of the town hall was to “discuss a rapidly changing Newark with longtime residents experiencing gentrification.” Thompson was moderating the panel which included local activists and political officials, including economist and former university president Julianne Malveaux and actor/activist Danny Glover.

Afrika and Thompson got into a heated debate. After starting disagreeing on what issues Thompson should cover on the ‘AM with Joy Ann Reid’ show, Thompson attempted to end the conversation. Afrika insisted that he finish and stepped into his pathway so that Thompson could not walk away. Then finger-pointing and words transpired. Thompson said Afrika was disrespectful. At some point, Africa called Thompson an ‘Uncle Tom’ and ‘coon’,” ARK Republic reported.

Next, Thompson grabbed Afrika’s face with his left hand then punched him with the right.