Black August: Lukata Mjumbe and Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele on Political Prisoner Solidarity

Black August Series

August 23, 2022, 7:30pm Eastern Time

Rev. Lukata Mjumbe and Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele will lead us into a deep dive into the tap-root of the Black August tradition, the intentional support of political prisoners. Both Lukata and Lumumba have been deeply involved in Black August for many years, and they will share about the history of the tradition and how it relates to the evolution of our movements’ understanding of prisons and systemic violence. They will reflect on scriptures that refer directly to the call to free political prisoners, including Colossians 4:18, Hebrews 13:3, Luke 4:18 / Isaiah 61:1 as well as texts and practices in the Yoruba Lukumi tradition. They will share about contemporary political prisoner support campaigns, including the recently successful campaign to free Sundiata Acoli, and they will give suggestions of how people of faith can get involved.

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Rev. Lukata Mjumbe is the pastor of the historic Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church of Princeton, NJ and the Founder of Robeson Legacy Movement (RLM). He teaches, preaches, advocates and seeks to boldly represent the Black liberationist, prophetic tradition inside and outside of the Church. Rev. Mjumbe is a deeply committed advocate, organizer, artist and respected scholar committed to the radical transformation and salvation of oppressed communities and marginalized people. Most recently he provided sustained, principled leadership and partnership in the campaign to free long time political prisoner Sundiata Acoli. He is a high honors graduate of both Morehouse College and Princeton Theological Seminary. He serves as the Faith Policy Advisor to Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12).

Lumumba Akinwole-Bandele is a priest of Obatala in the Yoruba Lukumi tradition and an organizer and educator based in central Brooklyn. He co-founded the world renowned Black August Hip Hop Project, which raises awareness and support for political prisoners in the United States. He has worked as National Strategies and Partnerships Director at The Movement for Black Lives, Director of Community Organizing at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, and Programming Coordinator at the Franklin H. Williams Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute (CCC). Lumumba currently teaches community organizing as an adjunct lecturer within the City University of New York, and serves on the boards of the Center for Constitutional Rights, The Malcolm X and Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center, and the Caribbean Cultural Center African Diaspora Institute. Read his full bio at