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Photo courtesy Ebony Lumumba. Jackson's first couple's story begins in a kindergarten classroom at North Jackson Elementary School. They both remember walking to school together with other kids in the neighborhood and playing together in their cul-de-sac after school. In that kindergarten classroom, they read the Dr. Seuss book "Green Eggs and Ham" like most 5-year-olds do. Their teacher cooked green eggs and ham for the class, and Chokwe remembers his teacher getting in trouble for letting him eat pork.
A year or so later, Ebony celebrated her 7th birthday at Chuck E. Cheese's, and although she invited the whole class, Chokwe didn't show up. More than 20 years later, Chokwe would surprise Ebony at a brunch she was having in Atlanta during homecoming weekend at her alma mater, Spelman College. Chokwe had coordinated with her friends to show up without her knowledge. Ebony sat at the table waiting for her food as everyone else's orders came out of the kitchen, wondering why she was the only one without her meal.
Then, in comes Chokwe with a plate of green eggs and ham in hand, and an engagement ring in his back pocket. Chokwe also had two Chuck E. Cheese's medallions representative of that party he missed decades before. Ebony was trying Beautiful couples wants friendship Mississippi hold back emotions in case he had just come as an early birthday surprise and not to propose—her birthday tends to fall around homecoming.
After a speech in front of all of her friends, Chokwe fumbled for the ring that he had forgotten was in his back pocket, and ultimately popped the question. As the currently pregnant Ebony puts it, one-and-a-half babies and six years later, here they are. In the time since that proposal inthey have been through highs and lows—many unfolding publicly. Then Chokwe entered the special election for his father's seat and ultimately lost.
Three years later, he would run again and win with his daughter and wife by his side the whole time. Ebony is the chair of the English department at Tougaloo College and a doctoral candidate at the University of Mississippi. The two refer to their day-to-day interaction as ships passing in the night.
Despite life's challenges, losses, hectic work schedules and the demands of parenthood, the self-proclaimed best friends credit their loving foundation that began as a friendship here in Jackson as the source of their determination to invest in the capital city for their daughters and the community that nurtured them both. Growing up, Chokwe and Ebony were not nearly as close as they are now, but they recall always reappearing in each other's lives. Although, the mayor does admit to having a crush on Ebony when he was a. A few years after that birthday party 6-year-old Chokwe did not attend, they both moved out of north Jackson, and they would see each other in passing during city-wide field trips.
They were both briefly enrolled in Murrah High School's freshman class, and Ebony would see Chokwe when she rode the bus home with her best friend—this is when Ebony had a crush on someone else, Chokwe recalls. Beautiful couples wants friendship Mississippi transferred to their rival high school—Callaway High School.
But, he still made excuses to see Ebony at her job at Buckle in the Northpark Mall. She said he used to show up with his cousin, never buying anything, which did not exactly help because she worked on commission. They both went to HBCUs—historically black colleges and universities—after graduating high school. While the schools are not directly rivals, Morehouse College, which is across the street from Spelman and intertwined with it in many ways, has a sports rivalry with Tuskegee. During Ebony's junior year, she and some cousins and sorority sisters made the hour-and-a-half drive for a game.
And I'm like, 'Oh, that's my friend from home, guys. Hey, what's up? Though he looked different from how she remembered him, Ebony said this was another instance that punctuated this planetary spin they were doing around each other throughout the years.
Because it was a very cordial hi-and-bye-good-to-see-you-moment. And we kind of kept going. They wouldn't see each other for years after that game until Chokwe was nearly finished with his law degree from Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University in Houston. Going into his second year of law school, he recalled seeing Ebony on Facebook and sending her a message because she was still in Atlanta, and he wanted to connect with her at a friend's upcoming wedding there.
But, he never called, and doesn't remember why he failed to follow Beautiful couples wants friendship Mississippi. Ebony said she changed her at that point anyway. That summer, however, they rekindled their Facebook thread, and that communication evolved into daily phone chats. She knew the answer was yes when he called early one morning, and she was glad.
In AugustChokwe had a long layover in Atlanta where Ebony was living at the time. He suggested they meet at the airport to see each other for the first time since the Tuskegee game. But I saw him get off the plane, and I was very happy to see him.
Then began a more formal dating relationship that meant back and forth trips to Houston and Atlanta. They remember talking about Chokwe Beautiful couples wants friendship Mississippi Ebony when she worked in the mall. He reminded her that he gave her his even back then, but she thought he was joking.
Ebony went home to Jackson one weekend and stayed with her parents in her old room. She went through a drawer and found the receipt paper from the store with Chokwe's handwritten phone on it. I never used it, but I did keep it, which has to mean something. Chokwe finished law school in and moved back to Jackson to work for his father's firm. Ebony applied to doctoral programs, including two Mississippi schools, considering her relationship with Chokwe had been getting more serious.
She got the best offer from the University of Mississippi, so she moved to Oxford. During their frequent visits between Jackson and Oxford, Chokwe decided he wanted to propose, and set forth his plan to surprise Ebony with green eggs and ham. The couple has a lot of obvious, outward adoration for one another, and they managed to throw in corrections and charming asides into the retelling of their love story without interrupting one another.
I tell him all the time he doesn't make me feel like I have to be anything but Ebony. And I don't know another person in my life that makes me feel that way That means a lot. When things are falling apart, and you feel a mess, I don't ever feel judged. The Lumumbas have been married sinceand they are less than a year into Chokwe's first term as mayor. She came into the world in the midst of Chokwe's special-election campaign after his father, and former mayor of Jackson, died unexpectedly.
Despite their collective grief and new addition to the family, Ebony believes everything happened in perfect timing. The Lumumbas are expecting a second daughter in March to be named Nubia Ngozi after Chokwe's late mother. Keeping their daughters in mind, they work to uplift the community that is the source of some of their best memories and nostalgia. And despite whatever challenges, that those challenges simply reflect resilience.
Ebony is excited to raise her daughters in the very place that nurtured her, her siblings and her man, she said. Her best friend seems to feel the same way. I met my first friend, who's now my wife, in Jackson.
Jackson is where my little girl was born. Jackson is the place that my parents are laid to rest. So I literally have seen my cycle of life and development in so many ways here. city reporter Ko Bragg at [ protected]. The news business has changed dramatically in the past year, and we need your help more than ever to keep bringing you important stories about Jackson and the Metro. Thanks for anything you can do to empower our journalism! User agreement and privacy statement. Congress St. Jackson Free Press Jump to content.
By Ko Bragg Wednesday, February 7, p. CST Upvote 0. Comments Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content. Top Stories. Recent Comments see recent 25 ».Beautiful couples wants friendship Mississippi
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