The New Republic
For my part, I see value in putting Coates’s and West’s perspectives in dialogue. To be clear, I am not interested in repeating or endorsing West’s critique here, and Coates needs no one to defend him, certainly not me. I believe that the reconciliation of their respective insights might open new directions.
"The Wednesday after the election I woke up in Jackson, Mississippi, and what that means is, no matter whether our country has experienced great boons or busts, in Mississippi, we've always been at the bottom," Mayor-elect Chokwe Antar Lumumba said. "We have to decide that we're going to rescue ourselves. That in places like Jackson, we won't allow it to be havens of oppression which endangers all of us."
Jackson Rising: An Electoral Battle Unleashes a Merger of Black Power, the Solidarity Economy and Wider Democracy
Keep on Keepin' On
500 peopled attended the weekend Jackson Rising conference earlier this month, conceived of by Chokwe Lumumba. Making use of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party to run as an independent in the Democratic primary, he defeated the incumbent and forced a runoff. Given that Jackson is an 80% Black city, he then won overwhelmingly. So when he died suddenly and his supporters in a state of shock, the opposition moved quickly to counterattack.
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Lumumba’s victory gives impetus for progressives to rededicate to the crucial importance of the battle for the South. The South is the historic home of racism, poverty and militarism and the base of the rightwing. The defeat of the personhood amendment and the election of Lumumba give renewed impulse and energy to recent motion of social justice forces throughout the country to make electoral work a key part of our struggle for freedom.