Darren E. Bryant became the first youngest Black sitting mayor in Illinois history. On April 27th, the 29-year-old took office as mayor of Robbins, a historic Black village outside of Chicago.
According to the Chicago Defender, the Village of Robbins elected Bryant, an alumnus of Kentucky State University, in what is being called a big upset with 52% of the vote over incumbent Mayor Tyrone Ward.
April 27th. The Election has now been officially certified with the County of Cook and the State of Illinois….
Mayor of the Village of Robbins
The youngest African American Mayor ever seated in the State of Illinois
Darren E. Bryant pic.twitter.com/f13GG6KmQX
— Darren E. Bryant (@mayorbryant_) April 27, 2021
Robbins is the sixth oldest black incorporated community in the country and has a rich history with the first airport built, owned, and operated by African Americans.
Mayor Darren E. Bryant’s mission is to reshape the town’s future while honoring its rich tradition.
“Robbins has a history of African American pioneers, and once being a center of black culture in Illinois is astonishing,” Bryant told Chicago Defender. This is the people’s victory more so than mine, and it feels amazing to get it done for the people.”
Bryant is excited to start his role as mayor but does not underestimate the challenges Robbins already faces.
“We don’t have a business district in our community to offer amenities to our taxpayers. We also have an infrastructure problem within our community from lighting, roads, and our water system. We must effectively spend state infrastructure dollars and other tax revenue on infrastructure needs while developing a comprehensive plan to addressing these concerns,” he told the Chicago Defender.
In addition, Bryant’s economic development platform highlighted the five major areas he wishes to address.
Bryant is a lifelong resident of Robbins, with both parents having been elected officials within the community. His community involvement started when he was a child.
“The community of Robbins is a family-orientated culture. It’s a culture of pride, and hard workers and history repeats itself,” he told Chicago Defender.
Bryant continued, “To understand the future, you must have knowledge of the past. We will restore the Village of Robbins into the dominant, culture-filled, prosperous town in which it once was.”