Lumumba mural removed from Monument Park - - Jackson, MS

Lumumba mural removed from Monument Park

The city of Jackson has decided to remove a mural that honored the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba citing that artists never got permission to do it.

The team of artists who created the mural feels it was a .political move. They were all devastated when they learned the mural was painted over because they claimed they worked hard on it.

Derek Perkins, one of the artists who worked on the project, describes the day he found out and told some of his friends.

"I was in shock when I found out he had passed away and when I told them one of them yelled no and then the other one started punching the air and said he said he was going to look after us and they were hurt and we needed to channel that energy," said Perkins.

So they channeled their energy into painting the mural. The mural at Monument Park honors not only Chokwe Lumumba, but also Frank Melton who died while in office.

However, when you go to the park now, you'll see that the mural has been painted over.

The city of Jackson released this statement:

"It came to our attention that one of our City-owned parks had been painted with certain words, slogans, and designs that had not been authorized or permitted by the City.  Consistent with our policies and City ordinances, the painting was removed."

"Kind of made me feel like it was a slap in the face like to be honest because we all went out there, blood sweat and tears were poured out in that park and they just said we don't care about what you did," said Akbar, one of the artists.

The artists felt the park was going downhill, being littered and needed to be revitalized.

They didn't even know what the mural was about. If someone was going to do that I would at least find out what it meant, how can you paint over something that says, "One City," said Perkins.

We reached out to the Lumumba family Rukia Lumumba, the late Mayor's daughter sent us this statement:

My family and I are deeply hurt by the City's decision to paint over the mural that was created in tribute to my father, Chokwe Lumumba.  As the days pass, the hurt grows stronger.  The artist, Derrick Perkins' painted the mural painted in absence of my or my family's request and knowledge.  It was painted a day before my father's Homegoing services and prior to my brother's decision to run for Mayor. As I think back to the day that I saw the mural in-person, I remember how I felt inspired by the artists' love and respect.  I remember how the mural uplifted my spirits before the Homegoing (funeral) service. And when I heard that Derrick Perkins, the artist, watched in disbelief as they painted over his work, my pain intensified.   Mr. Perkins, shared the defeat he felt as the City Administration defaced his art work. My father worked all of his life to empower people, and so it especially hurt to hear that Mr. Perkins felt dis-empowered by the this insensitive act.  Although my family and I believe that Mayor Tillman acted in good faith, I am shocked and dismayed that city politics have gotten so vitriolic following my father's passing.  Nevertheless, my family and I (near and far) are committed to the great City of Jackson, MS, a city that my family and I love.  My father's words, vision, and love lives on in me, in my son, in my brothers, in our family and in each of the artists that painted the mural.  We will continue our efforts to make Jackson Rise - One City, One Aim, One Destiny. As my father often said, "GOD, plus love, plus people power, equals progress." We are grateful for the love, support and prayers so many people have shown our family. Sincerely, Rukia Lumumba (Daughter of the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba)

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