Svante Myrick, a biracial man, has made history as the youngest mayor ever to serve Ithaca, NY at 24 years old. The young mayor served on Ithaca’s city council prior to his term. He also considers President Obama to be an inspiration. Although Myrick’s future looks promising, his childhood was rough.
Svante Myrick, the new 24-year-old mayor of Ithaca, N.Y., shies away from increasingly frequent comparisons to President Obama, but he admits the president’s journey certainly influenced his decision to enter politics.
“Well, if this, you know, guy with that name and those ears can do it, then a guy with this name and these ears can do it,” Myrick said.
When he was just a teenager, Myrick’s grandmother gave him a copy of Barack Obama’s book, “Dreams From My Father.” As a biracial teenager, he found solace and motivation in reading Obama’s story.
“It was so full of things I saw in my own story. I mean, his struggle with his identity growing up without his father and raised by a white mother in a largely white school district. I mean, he had been through things and he had wisdom,” Myrick said.
Myrick’s mother is white and his father is African American. The family was at times homeless. Myrick’s father struggled with drug addiction and faded from his life when he was six years old, Myrick said. He was raised primarily by his mother and grandparents in a Earlville, N.Y., a tiny town with just one stoplight. He and his three siblings were the only black kids in the town, Myrick said.
Learn about Myrick in the video below: