Black Teen Becomes Mayor and Makes History

By Brooklyn Ware, age 10 

Young people can be leaders, too! In December 2022, Jaylen Smith was elected mayor of Earle, Ark. At just 18 years old, he became the youngest Black mayor in U.S. history.

Smith won the election by 79 votes. “I felt so grateful!” he told NBC News. “I had the craziest facial reaction when I won! It was such a blessing.” Smith was especially excited because he has a learning disability that makes it hard for him to focus, but he won regardless of this.

He wants to bring a major grocery store to Earle, a small town with a population under 2,000. He also wants to increase access to food for senior citizens by expanding the local bus system in town so that they are able to have transportation. 

Jaylen Smith has a lot to do in his future years as mayor. He hopes to inspire other young people to run in politics. 

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