JACKSON, Miss. – "The people have decided!" Mayor-elect Chokwe Lumumba told supporters Tuesday night.
The civil rights attorney and councilman easily defeated three independents, winning 87 percent of the vote. Lumumba will take over the reins from Mayor Harvey Johnson on July 1. However, news headlines across the country seem to be fueling an uneasiness in white America, not just in Jackson, as to who "the people" are.
A few of the headlines throwing jabs at Mayor-elect Lumumba read: "Former Lawyer for Tupac and Assata Shakur Wins..." "Ex-Black Nationalist Wins..." and "Former Civil Rights Activist New Mayor..."
News flash: Incoming black mayors don't have to surrender their red, black and green flags. But the real doozie is the local headline, "Metro Mayors, Can They Get Along?" Of course, Lumumba is the lone African American. The other five mayors mentioned hail from Madison, Clinton, Byram, Pearl and Brandon. For certain, Lumumba's agenda must now be national in scope to bring about real change in Mississippi that has been sugar coated for the past five decades.
In Meridian, Percy Bland became the city's first African-American mayor and the first Democratic mayor in a generation. Bland won decisively (54 percent to 44 percemt) over incumbent Republican Mayor Cheri Barry. Bland received 54 percent of the vote; Barry received 44 percent.
"It is a new day," Bland told supporters gathered at his victory Party Tuesday. "Tonight, it is impossible not to pause for a few minutes to think about our past. We must always honor the past and honor those who sacrificed to make tonight possible. James Chaney, Andrew Goodman and Michael Schwerner gave their lives so that black people in Meridian could vote."
Long-time state Rep. Billy Broomfield won over two independents in the mayoral race in Moss Point. As did state Rep. George Flaggs in Vicksburg, Arnel Bolden in Canton and Johnny Magee in Laurel.
Rep. Kelvin Buck, who has served in the House since 2004, will be the next mayor of Holly Springs. Buck defeated current Mayor Andre DeBerry and was unopposed in the general election.
Hattiesburg Mayor Johnny DuPree beat City Councilman Dave Ware by 37 votes. It was a tight race all the way to the end. However, his opponent is asking for a recount because of the small margin of victory.
(Distributed via of New America Media)