— Chokwe Antar Lumumba (@LumumbaForMayor) March 20, 2017
Meet Chokwe Antar Lumumba, 34, who, according to the New York Amsterdam News, became the youngest mayor in the history of Jackson, Mississippi when he was recently sworn in at Jackson’s Convention Center Complex.
Lumumba, who was previously defeated by incumbent Mayor Tony Yarber, called his victory a celebration of the city’s unity.
“It’s about our collective efforts to move Jackson forward,” he said. The seat was left vacant when Lumumba’s father, Chokwe Lumumba, died after serving less than a year in office.
“I’m actually grateful that we lost the election in 2014,” Lumumba told “Democracy Now!” of his former attempt to fill his father’s seat. “Not because the sincerity was not there, not because we didn’t believe we would have done a good job, but, we’ve been able to appreciate far more what’s going on with the city of Jackson, and I’ve been able to appreciate more within myself.”
Lumumba continued, “People have to remember, in 2014, not only did I bury my father in a two-month time span and then enter into an election, my wife was pregnant with our first child. And so there was a world of change. You had a first-time candidate, who had not run for junior class president, much less mayor of a city. And so, we’ve been able to, you know, gather more information and position ourselves better.”
“We’re happy where we find ourselves at this time, to move forward the agenda that my father embarked on, an agenda of a people’s platform, one that was not only, you know, symbolic of his work in his short term as mayor, but symbolic of a lifetime of work, that he subscribed to and also ultimately dedicated his family toward,” said Lumumba, suggesting that timing is everything.
Overcome with emotion, he continued, “A son only holds his father’s hand for a short while, but he holds his heart forever. I can’t help, but to be emotional today.”
Of course, the rising rep didn’t pass up the opportunity to also praise his late mother.
“My mom’s spirit was infectious, she was the first person to tell me that I was brilliant,” said Lumumba. “If you had the privilege of knowing her or meeting her, she is someone that you would never forget.”
As for how he hopes to inspire change, check out the video above for a brief look at what he calls “Restoring the Vision.”