City mourns mayor at candlelight vigil - - Jackson, MS

City mourns mayor at candlelight vigil

JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A special remembrance was held in the capital city Wednesday in honor of Mayor Chokwe Lumumba. The vigil was organized by the group "Young Progressives of Jackson."

Dozens gathered in the bitter cold at Smith Park. Spirituals and songs of the Civil Rights movement echoed through the night.

There was tribute after tribute for Jackson's 51st mayor. More than 60 people black and white prayed, sang and talked about their work or relationships with the mayor.

There was laughter, as well as tears as many spoke about his long history of fighting for human rights and his final mission, leading the Capital City.

"Just coming together to represent how we feel about the mayor, but also our responsibility to kind of further his vision," said Vigil Co-organizer Jed Oppenheim.

"Mr. Lumumba was a man of the people and this is an opportunity for the people to come and share their stories," said Ward 2 Councilman Melvin Priester, Jr. "We fail to take account of when we have people and great history in our midst, and this is one of our chances. We're southerners we like to hear the oral history."

"He was a passionate man that believed and loved the City of Jackson and as I started earlier I have known him for over 20 years so I've had an opportunity to see first hand the vigor, he was such a beautiful spirit," said Geanette Gross of Jackson".

The event was initially planned to mark the second anniversary of Trayvon Martin's fatal shooting, but after the mayor's sudden passing it was held in his remembrance.

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