Former Ward 2 Councilman and Chokwe Lumumba, 65, is the new mayor of Jackson, Miss., winning the general election with 87 percent of the vote, reports Fight Back! News.
“I’m just delighted. I feel wonderfully well about the people and their vote. Our slogan has been the people must decide and the people gave us an outstanding mandate today for positive change in the city of Jackson,” Lumumba said. “We intend to work diligently and put all our hearts and efforts into that and we’re going to be calling upon the people to work with us. We’re not working by ourselves.”
As previously reported by NewsOne, Lumumba served four years on the Jackson City Council before running for mayor. He spent part of the ’70s and ’80s as vice-president of the Republic of New Afrika, an organization which advocated for “an independent predominantly black government” in the southeastern United States and reparations for slavery.
“The provisional government of Republic of New Afrika was always a group that believed in human rights for human beings,” Lumumba told The Associated Press in a recent interview. “I think it has been miscast in many ways. It has never been any kind of racist group or ‘hate white’ group in any way…. It was a group which was fighting for human rights for black people in this country and at the same time supporting the human rights around the globe.”
As an attorney, Lumumba has represented legendary activist, poet, actor and Hip-Hop artist Tupac Shakur in several cases, and his godmother, Assata Shakur, whom Lumumba calls a “Black Panther heroine.”
Assata, formerly Joanne Chesimard, was a member of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Army.
She sought political asylum in Cuba after being accused of killing New Jersey state trooper, Werner Foerster, in 1977, and recently became the first woman placed on the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorists” list. Medical evidence proved that it was “anatomically impossible” for Assata to kill Foerster after being shot by state trooper, James Harper, and forensic evidence proved that she had not fired a weapon. Even with that knowledge, the FBI recently raised the bounty on her head from $1 million to $2 million dollars.
Lumumba is also founder of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement and his platform calls for a move towards Black self-determination in the Deep South.
Jackson’s new mayor refers to himself as a “Fannie Lou Hamer Democrat,” a nod to the fearless civil rights leader who organized the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to challenge the white supremacist Dixiecrats that ruled the Land of Jim Crow at the time.
Congratulations to Mayor Lumumba! May the spirits of Black political prisoners and freedom fighters continue to guide your steps as you usher in a new Mississippi.
Lumumba takes office July 1.
Listen to Fannie Lou Hamer’s powerful speech at the 1964 DNC below: