Rukia Lumumba, daughter of late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and sister of mayoral candidate Chokwe A. Lumumba, wrote the following letter about the removal of a mural honoring her father. It is published here verbatim:
Open Letter to Jackson, Mississippi on the Painting Over of the Mural in Tribute to My Father, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba
I am both saddened and disappointed to hear of the decision to paint over the mural that was created in tribute to my father, Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. The mural was created by Derrick Perkins & several young artists to honor my father by displaying his mantra " One City, One Aim, One Destiny" on a city park's wall. The mural was painted prior to my brother’s decision to run for Mayor and absent my family’s request or knowledge. That is why it was especially hurtful and came as a shock to learn that the mural was painted over due to complaints, by a few, that the message of the mural was too close to my brother, Chokwe Antar Lumumba’s platform. When my father passed away on February 25th, the number of people who said publicly that he had done more for the city of Jackson in eight months than many had done in years, was innumerable. My father’s mission and vision was to ensure a city that was made ever stronger, economically, spiritually and ethically. That my brother, Chokwe Antar, has, after deep consultation, chosen to carry forward that mission, should not be disparaged.
For me and many residents of Jackson, MS that mural served as memorial and a reminder of the love my father had for the City of Jackson. It served as a constant call to Jacksonians, near and far, that we must work together to help Jackson RISE! The mural embodied my father's vision - a vision rooted in growth, unity, democracy and cultural diversity. I am sincerely grateful to Derrick Perkins & the many young artists who took the initiative to put their creative genius to work, and created such a beautiful and fitting tribute to the man I knew as Daddy and whom many others knew as friend and Mayor Lumumba. Although this is disappointing, my family and I remain encouraged and steadfast in our commitment to walk in his memory. As my father often said, "God, plus love, plus people's power equals progress."
Thank you all for your prayers and continued support.
One City, One Aim, One Destiny!