Mariah Parker, a 26-year-old doctorate student who was elected to the Athens-Clarke County commission, said that she turned down two other options presented by officials at the swearing in before she picked the autobiography.
“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,” Ms Parker told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I wanted Malcolm’s book. I think they saw it coming.”
Ms Parker has previously studied linguistics as a rapper, and goes by the name Lingua Franca.
She managed to win the commission seat by just 13 votes, and said that Malcolm X’s life story inspires and informs her world view.
“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,” Ms Parker told the newspaper.
“Then he shifted course and saw race in a different lens as he got older,” she continued. “And the fact that he was arguably killed for his politics. These are things that I want to embrace.”
Ms Parker ran her progressive campaign centred around racial justice issues and on economic issues.
She is a part of a record number of women running for office in 2018, spurred perhaps in part by the election of President Donald Trump, whose campaign was mired in accusations of sexual assault or harassment in the last few months leading up to election day in 2016.
Mr Trump has denied these allegations, which have come from over a dozen women.
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