Georgia official takes oath of office on Malcolm X autobiography instead of bible

She was offered a copy of the bible and constitution, but turned both down 

Clark Mindock
New York
Thursday 07 June 2018 22:32 BST
'I'm not going to back down' Georgia official takes oath of office on Malcolm X autobiography instead of bible

A Georgia county official has taken her oath of office by placing her hand on The Autobiography of Malcolm X instead of on the bible, as is most common during American swearing-in ceremonies.

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.

Join our commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in