R.I.P. Chokwe Lumumba

From USA Today:

Jackson (Miss.) Mayor Chokwe Lumumba, a longtime civil rights activist, died Tuesday afternoon at a hospital after experiencing chest pains.

He was 66.

His chief of staff choked up as she announced the news.

“It is with heavy heart that we inform you that our beloved brother, human rights activist and mayor of the great city passed away this afternoon,” Safiya Omari said at a news conference Tuesday evening. “We ask that you pray for his children and family, his friends and for this great city of ours.”

The national civil rights community took note when Lumumba became mayor last year of Mississippi’s capital city — a place that had seen its share of violence during the civil rights movement. Lumumba, a black nationalist, had worked with mainstream and leftist figures in the civil rights world.

The civil rights community expressed sadness at his passing.

“So heartbroken at the death of Mayor Lumumba,” tweeted Sherrilyn Ifill, president of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. “A great man, leader and lawyer. His words, ‘I am a revolutionary.’ ”

“You were a man’s man and a servant of humanity,” tweeted former NAACP president Ben Jealous. “It was an honor to help you free so many wrongfully convicted people.”

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