Lumumba Assassination Changed Black American Politics

A panel of academics and activists marked the 1961 assassination of Patrice Lumumba, the Congo’s first elected prime minister, by agents of the US and Belgium. Texas A&M professor Ira Dworkin, author of “Congo Love Song: African American Culture and the Crisis of the Colonial State,” pointed out that it was Black women, led by singer Abbey Lincoln, who petitioned for Lumumba’s release from arrest, and later organized against US policy in Congo. These protests “did create a shift” in Black American politics towards confrontation with US policies in Africa and the world, Dworkin told the online seminar.