Ava DuVernay oughta meet the woman she accused of belittling a young black man by cutting off his dreadlocks before going nuclear on her ... so says the kid himself.
We talked to Kobe Richardson Saturday at the Crushers Club in Chicago -- the same place that received a $200k from Meek Mill but quickly came under fire this week after an old photo of its founder, Sally Hazelgrove, cutting Kobe's locks resurfaced.
He doubles down in support of Sally -- and even tries to play peacemaker between she and Ava -- whom Kobe thinks aren't very different, despite the tense flare-up on Friday. Kobe also clarifies once again ... the decision to cut off the locks was his, not Sally's.
ICYMI ... a photo of Sally cutting Kobe's locks off went viral upon news that Meek was donating to her non-profit. A lot of people cried foul, suggesting the place wasn't worthy of Meek's cash ... as many felt Sally, and her org by association, were racially insensitive.
What really ticked people off was Sally's caption with the photo, which read ... "And another Crusher let me cut his dreads off! It's symbolic of change and their desire for a better life!"
Let’s replace those images of a Trump supporter gleefully cutting a young black man’s locs to give him a “better life”... with the beauty and majesty of life with locs. If you adorn yourself with natural locs, share your pictures with the hashtag #loclife. I’ll start. xo pic.twitter.com/IAw0zjfwWN
That rubbed a ton of folks -- including the renowned filmmaker and TV producer, Ava -- the wrong way ... and Sally quickly issued a mea culpa for sharing the photo all those years ago. But even Sally's apology came under attack, and Ava took up the #LocLife campaign as a result ... urging black people to share their love of their locks, and disavowing Sally.
Well, Kobe says Ava and co. have the wrong idea about the woman ... and he even credits his life to her, saying he'd probably be in jail or dead if it wasn't for Sally and Crushers Club's help. He says he's been shot 14 times, and credits Crushers Club for helping him recover.
As far as Ava, he thinks she and Sally actually have a lot more in common than Ava might think ... and he says she should meet Sally to see the good work she's doing for herself.
It's unclear if that'll happen, but it's clear Kobe and the kids at Crushers Club would like to see a peace summit -- for the sake of the woman they credit with saving their lives.