Jackson, Mississippi, mayor Chokwe Lumumba has died. He was 66.

Before becoming involved in Jackson politics, Lumumba was a lawyer and human rights activist.

From The New York Times:

Mr. Lumumba was involved with the Republic of New Afrika in the 1970s and ’80s. He said in 2013 that the group had backed “an independent predominantly black government” in the southeastern United States. […] The group also supported reparations for slavery, and was watched by an F.B.I. counterintelligence operation.

“The provisional government of Republic of New Afrika was always a group that believed in human rights for human beings,” Mr. Lumumba told The Associated Press in a 2013 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.”

Read more at The New York Times

During his early 20s, the Detroit native, originally born Edwin Taliaferro changed his name in 1969. He attended law school in 1971, and went to Jackson in 1988.

Jackson city council president Charles Tillman is currently acting as mayor. There will be a special election to determine a new mayor in the near future.

Rest in peace Mr. Lumumba. 

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