18-year-old becomes youngest Black mayor in America

Jaylen Smith made history in Arkansas on Dec. 6
18-year-old becomes youngest Black mayor in America
Earle, Arkansas mayor-elect Jaylen Smith. (Image source: Facebook – Jaylen Smith)

America now has its youngest Black mayor-elect. Jaylen Smith, 18, won the Earle, Arkansas vote to become the city’s next mayor.

“It’s time to build a better Earle, Arkansas,” Smith posted on Facebook. “I would like to thank all my supporters for stepping up and getting people to the polls. I am truly grateful for you all.”

Smith graduated from Earle High School in May. On his Facebook page are a lot of posts highlighting his community work and sharing his desire to improve the town. A town of approximately 1,800 people, according to the 2020 census, Earle is near Memphis.

There have been at least two 18 year olds who have been American mayors in history, according to oldest.org: Ben Simons, who was the mayor of Yoncalla, Oregon, and Michael Sessions of Hillsdale, Michigan. The youngest Black mayor in the study was 22-year-old Michael Tubbs, of Stockton, California. The other Black mayor on the top eight list was Muriel Bowser, 41, of Washington, D.C.

“This election is very important and it’s time that our city is moved forward with better opportunities and the best quality of living,” Smith said on Facebook on the final day of election day.

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