Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Rest In Power, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, 1947 - 2014

Chokwe Lumumba, a leader of the Republic of New Afrika and recently elected mayor of Jackson, Mississippi, has died.

Mayor Lumumba was a lifetime civil rights activist, and active in post-Katrina struggles in New Orleans, through the People's Hurricane Relief Fund. As a human rights lawyer, he represented many high-profile clients, including both Assata Shakur and Tupac Shakur. Although only mayor for about a year, he had excited progressives around the world, as an unapologetic revolutionary elected to a capital city in the US south. Below is an Al Jazeera news profile of Mayor Lumumba from shortly after his election.

Chokwe Lumumba from Jazeera Clips on Vimeo.

Below are edited excerpts from Mayor Lumumba's campaign website:
Chokwe Lumumba, Esq. was born August 2, 1947 in Detroit, Michigan. He earned his Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Kalamazoo College in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Lumumba later finished 1st in his Law School freshman class before graduating cum laude from Wayne State University Law School.  
Since 1968 Chokwe Lumumba crisscrossed the globe fighting for “Human Rights for Human Beings.” Lumumba is known for his work in support of the survivors of Katrina, by serving on the Board of the People’s Hurricane Relief Fund, by organizing other activists to form the Mississippi Disaster Relief Coalition, and by co-organizing the Gulf Coast Survivors Assembly.  
Mayor Lumumba’s work as a community activist has spanned over four decades. He worked with organizations such as Jackson Human Rights Coalition to help pressure the State to retry the person who murdered Medgar Evers. He worked for over 20 years organizing, directing, coaching, and mentoring youth through programs such as the Jackson Panthers Basketball Organization. Lumumba was also a co-founder and member of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. Mayor Lumumba was a nationally renowned attorney, who represented clients in over 16 jurisdictions, including Canada and the Choctaw Court. He worked in high profile cases such as the representation of the late Tupac Shakur. He helped win the release of the Scott Sisters in 2011 who had served 16 years of double life prison sentences for an $11.00 (eleven-dollar) robbery which they did not commit. He successfully represented Lance Parker who was falsely accused of assault during the 1992 LA uprising which followed the brutal beating of Rodney King. 
Chokwe Lumumba was a devoted husband and father. His wife Nubia A. Lumumba passed away in 2003. Chokwe leaves behind three children - Kambon Mutope, Rukia Kai and Chokwe Antar Lumumba.
We send our love to his family and to the people of Jackson.

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