Chokwe Lumumba: ¡Presente!

Taken from a March 3 audio column on

His name was Chokwe: Chokwe Lumumba.  And for over 40 years, he was a people’s lawyer, dedicated to the needs of the Black Nation.

As a young lawyer in Detroit, he worked to defend members of the nationalist group, the Republic of New Afrika, after their members were attacked by police, and many were arrested back in 1981.

When he signed on to defend RNA members, Bilal Sunni Ali and Fulani Sunni Ali, the judge went out of his way to remove him from the case. But Lumumba fought to reverse this order and sure enough, it was reversed.

That fierce determination fueled him through an exemplary career in law, and he developed a nationalist practice that attracted radicals and revolutionaries as clients.

When famed rapper, Tupac Shakur, was charged with aggravated assault on several cops, Lumumba represented him and beat the case.

When the Scott sisters, Jamie and Gladys, were fighting an unjust conviction for robbery, Chokwe Lumumba convinced a Mississippi governor, Haley Barbour, to free them in 2011, after they had spent over 16 years in prison.

When he entered electoral politics, Jackson, Miss., would become his city after election as mayor.

He was able, imaginative and determined.

Chokwe Lumumba, after 66 years of life, recently joined his ancestors.

He never stopped fighting for the freedom of Black people.