A narrowly-elected Georgia county commissioner is making waves after being sworn in with her hand on Malcolm X's autobiography and fist in the air.
Meet Mariah Parker. The book she's swearing on is the autobiography of Malcolm X. The person holding the book is her mother. SHE WON BY THIRTEEN VOTES! Every. Vote. Matters!!!!! pic.twitter.com/HJUWcbx2pP— GAFSJ (@AtlantaMarch) June 7, 2018
Congrats to my comrade and, soon to be, fellow County Commissioner Mariah Parker! @MariahforAthens was sworn in last night.— Tim Denson (@TimDensonATH) June 6, 2018
Who's ready for unprecedented radical change? ?????????? #ATHpol pic.twitter.com/ZMkViZk8tZ
Meet Mariah Parker, the sister who won an Athens-Clarke County commission seat and took her oath of office on "The Autobiography of Malcolm X"— Ernie Suggs (@erniesuggs) June 8, 2018
Via @ajc @erniesuggs
PLS RT#UGA #athensga #MalcolmX #BlackGirlMagic https://t.co/IcG5A1dqYU pic.twitter.com/eUej2KhsN5
Mariah Parker, the newly-elected Athens-Clarke County Commissioner, won by a whopping 13 votes.
“They asked if they would like the Bible and I said no. My mother asked if there was a copy of the Constitution around. No,” Parker told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I wanted Malcolm’s book. I think they saw it coming.”
Parker further explained why she looked up to Malcolm X:
Having seen the transformation of someone who came through a difficult background to become vocal and push conversations on race in a radical way is powerful. Then he shifted course and saw race in a different lens as he got older. And the fact that he was arguably killed for his politics. These are things that I want to embrace.
I was very lucky to break away from some of the generational patterns, by going to college and getting out of the town. But I struggled and I thought people only looked at me as having nothing to offer.
Parker, who pursuing her doctorate in language and literacy education at the University of Georgia, ran on a progressive platform. Specifically, she wants to focus on "reducing poverty and discrimination, affordable housing, fair wage jobs, youth development, criminal justice reform and marijuana reform."