NAPO MXGM statement on the transition of Comrade Chokwe Lumumba to the Ancestors
The New Afrikan Peoples Organization (NAPO) and the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement (MXGM) salutes the life of our Comrade, Brother, and Co-founder Baba Chokwe Lumumba. On February 25 2014, our Comrade Chokwe made his transition to the ancestral realm. He was born in Detroit, Michigan to Lucien and Priscilla Taliaferro, working class parents who gave him a sense of spirituality, morality and service. As a young man, Chokwe exhibited his destiny as a leader. The Black Power movement of the 1960s and the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. propelled Chokwe to become a revolutionary. He embraced the Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika (PGRNA) in 1969. He would eventually serve as Minister of Justice and Midwest Regional Vice President of the PGRNA. Along with other New Afrikan revolutionary nationalists from the PGRNA, House of Umoja, and Afrikan People’s Party; Baba Chokwe founded a revolutionary national liberation organization NAPO in 1984. He became the Chairman and primary spokesperson of NAPO for 29 years. Subsequently, NAPO founded MXGM as its mass association in 1990.
Baba Chokwe Lumumba’s work as an attorney is well known. He has focused his legal practice defending “the least of these”-poor and oppressed people. He was the legal advocate for political prisoners like Assata Shakur, Dr. Mutulu Shakur, Sekou Odinga, the Pontiac Brothers, Hayward Brown, and the son of the movement, Tupac Shakur. Some of his finest legal work was winning the release of the Scott Sisters, two young Black women convicted and sentenced to double-life sentences for an $11 armed robbery. As an attorney, Chokwe also fought in the courts for Black workers versus avaricious firms, Black communities versus police misconduct, and members of the indigenous Choctaw nation versus a corrupt tribal council.
As a student of New Afrikan Political Science, he also studied international law and applied it to his defense of political prisoners and prisoners of war. Baba Chokwe partnered with his political father, Imari Obadele, and comrades in the PGRNA, the National Conference of Black Lawyers, and NAPO to advance Queen Mother Moore’s call for Reparations for the descendants of enslaved Afrikans in the United States. This effort led to the formation of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (NCOBRA).
Baba Chokwe also participated as a soldier in the defense forces of the New Afrikan Independence Movement. He believed all New Afrikans should be ready to defend their lives, families, community, and our Movement. Chokwe was a member of the New Afrikan Security Forces of the PGRNA and achieved the rank of Captain in the New Afrikan Security Union of NAPO in 1984.
Chokwe and his family relocated from Detroit in 1988 to establish NAPO in Mississippi. MXGM encouraged Baba Chokwe to run for Jackson City Council in 2009 as part of our Jackson-Kush Plan to win self-determination, participatory democracy, and economic justice in Black majority counties in Mississippi. A People’s Assembly was formed in his ward as part of the Jackson-Kush Plan and to promote and practice participatory democracy. Comrade Chokwe winning the runoff by 63% of the vote was a testament to his decades of activism and advocacy of the people of Jackson. The same formula was employed to organize Chokwe’s campaign for Mayor. Chokwe’s charisma, history of activism, serving the people, and the vision of the Jackson Kush Plan motivated the organization of grassroots communities throughout the city of Jackson. Solidarity from progressive forces around the United States also provided the basis of Baba Chokwe’s mayoral victory. The Jackson chapter of MXGM and NAPO were the heart of his campaign staff in his campaigns for City Council and Mayor.
Chokwe Lumumba was one of the finest sons of our people. Chokwe Lumumba was motivated by his vision of a liberated New Afrika and a New World. He loved our people and was loved by them. He loved coaching and mentoring the youth of Mississippi and Louisiana on his Jackson Panther Amateur Athletic Union Basketball program. Baba Chokwe was generous with his time and money to support the movement and support individuals.
Baba Chokwe was a loving husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle, and cousin. As Chairman of NAPO, he began his addresses stating, “on behalf of the women, men, and children of the New Afrikan People’s Organization.” Baba Chokwe’s household exemplified this salutation. His late-wife and soul mate Nubia and his children Kambonmutope, Rukiya, and Chokwe Antar were and are valued participants in our organization and liberation struggle. He also embraced his comrades and their households as family. One of his strengths as an organizer was the love his family showed for him and the movement. He will always be an exemplary New Afrikan.
Chokwe Lumumba’s name will always be mentioned as one of the finest revolutionaries and freedom fighters of our time and our history. He possessed a revolutionary character. Baba Chokwe listened to and embraced criticism of his comrades and grassroots people. He studied and read, was a proud revolutionary New Afrikan nationalist/ internationalist and socialist, but was not dogmatic or doctrinaire. He was creative and willing to incorporate new ideas. Baba Chokwe was principled and committed to the last second of his life to our liberation and will be an inspirational force for our liberation as an Ancestor. Baba Chokwe Lumumba will forever live through our work to free the people and free the land!!!
Long Live the Spirit of Chokwe Lumumba
Free the Land!!!
New Afrikan Peoples Organization
Malcolm X Grassroots Movement