Brandon Scott, one of the emerging young Black mayors elected to metropolitan cities across America, had his afro become the central focus.
Brandon M. Scott is the 52nd Mayor of Baltimore, working to end gun violence, restore the public’s trust in government, and change Baltimore for the better.
Mayor Scott is dedicated to building a safer and more equitable city.
— Brandon M. Scott (@MayorBMScott) December 8, 2020
Scott, a 36-year-old progressive Democrat, ran on a platform of reform in an effort to divest from previous old-guard politics which left Black and brown Baltimoreans at a disadvantage.
Baltimore is also still healing from the 2015 death and subsequent trial of Freddie Gray’s murder, coupled with the loss of Congressman Elijah Cummings, who represented Maryland’s 7th Congressional District covering portions of Baltimore.
Scott was sworn in Wednesday during a private ceremony and flanked by his family, marking the beginning of what some hope to be a resurgence, where previous city leadership left in a swarm of ethical violations and controversy.
Social media users gave Scott his props on his fully picked afro which represents a sense of pride as well as a diversion from respectability politics hinging on the idea that everyone must conform to white standards of comfort.
Pulitzer-winner Nikole Hannah-Jones pointed out the gloriousness of Scott’s crown on Twitter.
“This gotta be one of the Blackest haircuts in mayoral history. Much respect,” she wrote retweeting a photo of Scott’s official headshot.
Others pointed out the sheer crispness of his lineup and fade.
Got it shaped up because you knew it was picture day 💈💈
— Himbo DiFranco (@ladbroke) December 8, 2020
The former city councilman knows the importance of representation and took time to speak with a group of sixth-grade students, where one questioned him about his hair.
“It’s funny that you say that because if I think about my life I had more years with long hair than short hair. So this is actually normal for me,” he replied.
“I also want you to know that your hair—don’t let anyone tell you what your amount of success can be,” he continued.
As the city’s youngest mayor in more than a century, Scott promised to decrease racial inequity and address the rising homicide rate which he proclaimed a public health crisis.