Final interview with Chokwe Lumumba | Jacobin
In his last interview, Chokwe Lumumba discusses popular power and the past and future of revolutionary struggle in the American South.
FREE THE LAND
by Bhaskar Sunkara
Jacobin 14/June 2014
Chokwe Lumumba’s dilemma was simple: how to be a revolutionary in a Mississippi the popular imagination would paint as anything but.
It was a mission that seemed bound to alienate and polarize long before he became mayor of Jackson, home to a State Capitol building that flies a defiant Confederate battle flag and a City Hall built by slave labor.
But when I went to Jackson to profile the newly elected Lumumba last year and in my conversations with Mississippians throughout this year, I was shocked at how hard it was to find someone who didn’t like him. Mainstream politicians like Rickey Cole, chairman of the state Democratic Party, and his staff were keen to show solidarity with Jackson’s new administration. They talked about Lumumba’s honor and integrity, whatever their political differences. After the mayor’s death in February at the age of sixty-six, Cole called him “a man by the people, of the people, and for the people.”
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