Newark, New Jersey - One of the most significant occurrences at the August 2012 Newark, New Jersey Black is Back conference on electoral politics was the organization's endorsement of two candidates for political office.
Both Chokwe Lumumba of Jackson, Mississippi and Ron Gochez of Los Angeles, California were embraced by the Black is Back Coalition as representative of the kind of progressive, anti-imperialist politicians that can help to forward the struggle for self-determination.
Lumumba, a lawyer in Jackson, is currently a member of the Jackson city council, but has decided to toss his hat in the arena as a candidate for mayor.
A long time activist in self-determination politics, a defender of a number of historically significant political prisoners, Lumumba has won the respect of black people and progressives throughout the U.S. and in other parts of the world, including Venezuela, where he has participated with black people from throughout the Americas in important discussions about the rights of black people in this hemisphere.
Ron Gochez is a teacher in Los Angeles.
As a member of Unión del Barrio, one of the most significant and influential anti-imperialist Mexican national liberation organizations, Gochez has done practical work in uniting the African and Mexican communities throughout southern California.
In his role as a teacher, Gochez has also helped black students to organize in their own interests as well.
Gochez is also a firm, active opponent of the increasingly racist and ugly "anti-immigrant" politics that has ratcheted up recently against Mexicans and other Latinos, especially in California.
Lumumba was scheduled to participate in the Black is Back conference but was unable to do so because of unexpected difficulties, but Gochez was there and received a warm reception from the Africans present because of his non-compromising support for the liberation of black and all oppressed peoples and because of the history of Unión del Barrio and Gochez in the actual struggle against oppression.
During the plenary session of the Black is Back conference on August 18, the issue of endorsing both candidates received a resounding show of support.
On August 19, the Steering Committee of the Black is Back Coalition united with the sentiments of the people and voted to extend a Black is Back endorsement of the candidates to resounding applause from the conference attendees.