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‘Long Live Africa!’ Meet the Gallant Congolese Hero Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Lumumba

Patrice Hemery Lumumba 1960

Patrice Hemery Lumumba (1925-1961)

  • Patrice Lumumba was an African nationalist and the first legally elected prime minister of the Democratic Republic of the Congo beginning June 1960-September 1960.
  • In 1960 Lumumba gave an archaic speech advocating for liberation which offended many imperialist powers to the point that he was arrested and tortured.
  • He wrote essays and poems for Congolese journals as part of his work in Kindu-Port-Emparin. 
  • Lumumba was Prime Minister for only five months, he was terminated by President Kasavubu for going to the Soviet Union for help.
  • He served a 12-month sentence prison in 1960 for distributing liberal party literature and was charged with embezzlement.
  •  Hungary, Mali, Cuba, and Russia have streets, statues and buildings named in his honor.
  • Lumumba was the founder of MNC (Mouvement National Congolais), an African nationalist party within Belgian Congo dedicated to achieving independence from Belgium.
  •  Activist Malcolm X gave a speech in 1964 at a rally proclaiming Lumumba as the “greatest black man who ever walked the African continent” and a fearless leader.
  • Lumumba was transported to Katanga on January 18, 1961, and murdered on the orders of Belgian officials aided and abetted by the CIA. 
  • His last letter written to his wife foreshadowed his patriotic death in which he wrote “Long live the Congo! Long live Africa.”

The Patrice Lumumba is part of our Black Rebel series for Black History Month.

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