The Youngest African American Mayor In Histroy.


Jaylen Smith has made history as our country’s youngest African American mayor. At only 18 he’s the governor of Earle, Arkansas. 

Less than a year after graduating from Earle High School, Smith won the election and began working on ways to make his city a better place. 

What inspired this young man to go after such a significant role at this specific time in his life?

Smith credits his candidacy to his involvement in student government. 

“It started when I joined the student government association, we made differences not only in the school but in the community as well and that organization led me here to be the mayor of Earle Arkansas,” said Smith.

His participation in student government gave him the leadership skills that have helped guide him along the way.

Smith went up against the city’s streets and sanitation manager who was more experienced than himself, and it took a lot to convince the majority to choose him as a better option for the city overall.

“I broke it down to the community; do we want to continue to go back or do we want to move into our future? What has this guy done in the past 30/40-something years.” reflected Smith.

After the community heard him they decided that “they’ll support this young guy who’d bring fresh ideas to the table and move the community forward.”

Undoubtedly, his age caused a lot of doubt and skepticism throughout the election. Plenty of people weren’t so sure that an eighteen-year-old could thoroughly get the job done but Smith managed to get past all of that.

“People already look at teenagers as a statistic of going to jail, doing drugs etc. I had to break it down to them;how can young people achieve greatness if they are continually knocked down”?

His community understood and respected his point, which helped him convince people who had doubts about him to push his age aside. 

Making history in even the smallest way is bound to make someone feel like they’re on top of the world, but making the amount of history that Smith has made, becoming the youngest African American Mayor has him extremely proud and enthusiastic for the future. 

“It feels amazing to be the youngest African American mayor in the nation.”

Smith had a lot of support behind him throughout his campaign but the biggest support of all is family. Just like everyone else, his family was extremely proud of him and his victory.

“They were very excited that I was going to take the initiative to run for mayor simply based on my experiences in high school” Smith reflected. 

He has already made history and he will always be remembered. Being remembered comes with a legacy and a message that he would leave behind. 

“What I plan for my legacy to be is inspirational, regardless of how young you are, do what your heart desires you to do.”

There are teenagers out there dreaming of going into politics or dreaming of going after big roles in the future, Smith has already set a good example and become an inspiration for those teens to chase after their dreams.

“Look in the mirror and ask yourself, do you believe in yourself? Do what your heart desires no matter how young you are because you have to step out there and take on those roles anyway.”