Hard Knock Radio 02-26-2014 : We discuss the sudden passing of long time activist and freedom fighter Chokwe Lumumba who was several months into serving his first term as mayor of Jackson, Mississippi. We spoke with Lumumba’s long time friend,former Detroit City Councilman Kwame Kenyatta about his legacy and the next steps for the mayor’s administration. We also asked him if he thought if there was any foul play involved.
Kenyatta said that folks are still gathering all the information and due time the family will release statements. He also noted that Lumumba as lawyer would respond to questions of foul play by noting that we have a responsibility to look at all the evidence.
In terms of what will happen to the staff that served under Mayor Lumumba, Kenyatta noted that’s up to the new mayor who was sworn in hours after Lumumba’s death. He noted that folks are still going to be active and do what they can to carry out the plans that were laid forth but from a governmental stand point, the new mayor has the option to keep people on and move forward or let replace everyone until a new election is held.
Kenyatta noted that with Lumumba receiving so much support (He won with 84%) he would hope that the city council and the new mayor would understand that the community was and is excited by the changes that were in the works and being put forth and that ideally things should continue in that vein. Kenyatta also laid out what all the options, possible scenarios and likely time frame for a special election to be held to replace the Mayor Lumumba.
Kenyatta who was serving as Mayor Lumumba’s Compliance officer, explained that everyone who worked for the administration is committed 100% to carrying out his vision that was put forth in the widely read Jackson Rising Plan.
He noted that the Jackson Rising Conference which was scheduled for May is still going to happen. He said Lumumba who was his close friend for over 40 years would have it no other way. He noted that Lumumba was the type of person who would want us to take a moment to grieve and reflect but not abandoned the plans all had laid out.
We concluded our interview by asking Kenyatta to reflect on his long friendship with Lumumba and what people listening should ideally know him for.