Green Party leaders, activists, and candidates are remembering Mayor Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, Miss., who passed away on Feb. 25 at the young age of 66.
Chokwe Lumumba's four-decade involvement in the struggle for justice included work as an attorney for Black Panther Assata Shakur and the late hip-hop artist Tupac Shakur and as vice president of the Republic of New Afrika. He co-founded the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA), the National Black Human Rights Coalition, and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement. He was elected as a Democrat to the Jackson City Council's Ward 2 seat in 2009 and was elected Mayor on June 4, 2013.
The Green Party expressed sympathy to Mayor Lumumba's family, the people of Jackson, and the many people he touched in the organizations and campaigns that he led. Many Greens had personal responses to Mayor Lumumba's death:
• Darryl! LC Moch, activist/advocate, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States: "I am mourning the loss of a great statesman, leader, friend, and icon, Chokwe Lumumba. In this giant of a man we were inspired, challenged, and reminded of the greatness of all people, but particularly the brilliance, resilience, and impact on all of society of Black people. He asked all those he came in contact with to see more for themselves and others than might be promoted in the world around them; to see infinite possibilities for change, hope, equality, and justice. He then propelled us to make change not just a campaign slogan but something we seek to enact in our everyday lives. To demand justice and to fight to win equality and to take nothing instead of it. Chokwe Lumumba lived and embodied the very principles he stood for. He was in every way the a model for all of us and our children to strive to emulate; in so much as we give our selves and our all to the cause of liberation."
• Kate Culver, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and chair of the Green Party of Tennessee: "In recent times we've witnessed citizens from around the world take to the streets to claim their rights and power held in check by the political leadership. In Jackson, Mississippi it was Mayor Lumumba who was leading the people of his city to step up and engage for the benefit of all its people. He will be greatly missed and remembered with the forward movement of those efforts."
Excerpt from a vision statement by Mayor Chokwe Lumumba:
"Over the next four years, my administration will govern in accordance with human rights principles and standards. Our goal is to create equity for all. Through broad civic engagement, participatory and transparent governance, and sound fiscal management we will build a sustainable future for Jackson. This future will be grounded in the highest provision of public services in public works administration, city planning, economic development, education, health care, transportation, and public safety. We also aim to build a dynamic 'new economy' rooted in cooperative development and anchored by green jobs, living wages, and strong worker protections. The development of this new economy will be driven by the emerging human rights, workers, youth, immigrant, and green social movements in partnership with my administration and socially responsible businesses, investors and philanthropies." ("Jackson Rising: Building the city of the future today," http://sfbayview.com/2014/jackson-rising-building-the-city-of-the-future-today/)
"Chokwe Lumumba, 1947-2014"
By R.L. Nave, Jackson Free Press, February 25, 2014
"Breaking: Jackson Mayor Chokwe Lumumba Has Died"
Democracy Now!, February 26, 2014
"We Remember and Honor Chokwe Lumumba"
By Jared Ball, I Mix What I Like, February 27, 2014
National platform of the Green Party of the United States
Section on racial justice and support for reparations
Green Party Black Caucus
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