Kenya: Grandson of Kenyatta Wins Seat in U.S. Mid-Term Elections

Malcolm Kenyatta, the new Pennsylvania State Representative of the 181st District in Philadelphia.
7 November 2018

His grandfather changed his name from Donald Brooks Jackson to Muhammad Kenyatta in the early 1970s.

A grandson to a former American professor and civil rights leader who changed his name to honour his hero, Kenya's first president Jomo Kenyatta, won a seat on Wednesday in the United States elections.

Malcolm Kenyatta, 27, was elected the Pennsylvania State Representative of the 181st District in Philadelphia.

Mr Kenyatta also made history as the first openly gay candidate of color to win the elections in Pennsylvania.

The newly-elected Pennsylvania State Representative's grandfather changed his name from Donald Brooks Jackson to Muhammad Kenyatta in the early 1970s to honour his perceived heroes Elijah Muhammad, leader of the Nation of Islam, and Jomo Kenyatta.

THIRD GENERATION

Mr Kenyatta is third-generation North Philadelphian and a fierce civic and community advocate.

He has been working to change outcomes in the neighborhood in which he was born, raised, and he's called home for all of his twenty-seven years.

He was born to the late Kelly and Malcolm J. Kenyatta and raised in north central Philadelphia with his three siblings.

He is a product of the public school system and graduated from Temple University with a major in public communications and minor in political science.

His grandfather, who was a civil rights leader, minister and local, politician ran for mayor in 1975 but did not win. He died in 1988 due to ill health.

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