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A Liberian Refugee and a Sudanese Woman Make U.S. Election History

Wilmot Collins, and Mazhir Salih made history on Tuesday after winning public office in Montana and Iowa, respectively.

Wilmot Collins, a 54 child-protection specialist, who arrived in the United States from 23 years ago as a refugee from Liberia was elected mayor of Helena, Montana on Tuesday. According to the Huffington Post, Collins is the state's first black mayor.


Despite Montana being a largely conservative state with a history of contentious laws relating to refugee populations, Collins managed to win while running on a progressive platform which focused on issues like teen and veteran homelessness, and working towards securing access to clean water, reports The Root.

In an interview with PRI from last year, the newly elected mayor, spoke about the racial discrimination he faced in his early years in the city, which is 93 percent white—his house was once vandalized and marked with the words "KKK" and "Go Back To Africa—and shared how he was able to overcome such obstacles, help open minds, and leave a lasting impact on the community.

"I think the people of Montana are very accepting and welcoming, but the problems we have is that without information, we tend to stick to what we hear. That is, if we do not educate the public on what refugees are about, they will stick to whatever bigotry they hear."

"That's why they tried burning my car," he says. "That's why the marked my home 'KKK,' 'Go back to Africa' — because they didn't know me. Today, I don't think they can say that. I know in my own small way, I've enriched the
community. Talk to my students, talk to my former students, talk to my military mates, talk to my co-workers."


Tuesday's elections saw a number of diverse, Democratic candidates win public office.

Sudanese newcomer, Mazhir Salih won a council seat in Iowa City, and is believed to be the first Sudanese woman to hold public office in the country, and the first Muslim woman to serve on the Iowa City Council.

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Photo by A Kid Named Trav.

Relive OkayAfrica & Nike's Epic Naija Worldwide Bash in This New Video

Get a glimpse of the fun and good vibes featuring Burna Boy, Laolu Senbanjo, DJ Tunez and more.

Partner content from Nike

Naija Worldwide, presented by OkayAfrica and Nike, was the epitome of summertime vibes in Brooklyn this summer.

Partygoers came through to The Well to celebrate Nike's triumphant Nigeria kits as Team Nigeria headed to Russia with style. In this recap video, you'll get a glimpse of the fun along with some familiar faces like Laolu Senbanjo, DJ Moniki, DJ Moma and DJ Tunez, along with our surprise performance guest, Burna Boy.

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The Super Eagles Stylishly Beat Iceland in the World Cup & Nigerians Are Going Crazy

All of the best social media reactions from Nigeria's 2-0 win over Iceland.

Nigeria just beat Iceland 2-0 in of the World Cup, leaving them second in Group D.

The Super Eagles started the game in shy form, putting together a first half performance that was at times cold and even dicey.

However, the second half saw the team wake up and fully charge forward. A change of formation had them attacking a lot more, which opened up a counter attack that led to Leicester City winger Ahmed Musa's incredible control touch and strike for the Super Eagles' first goal.

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This New EP Traces Africa's Musical Influences Across Cuba, Brazil & the U.S.

Listen to our premiere of the DJ Jigüe's Afrosekuela EP.

DJ Jigüe is a selector who blends experimental electronic music with traditional Afro-Cuban rhythms.

In his new 3-song EP, Afrosekuela, the DJ and producer explores three different regions that have been strongly influenced and shaped by the African diaspora: Brazil, Cuba and the United States.

"Ponte de Pie" was inspired by hip-hop and the underground electronic music of Detroit. It samples the Sugar Hill Gang's iconic chorus from "Rapper's Delight."

The second track "Afrosekuela" is a sonic meeting of Angolan kuduro rhythms with Afro-Cuban drums. While "Bateria Perfecta" highlights the Africa's influence on Brazilian rhythms and percussion.

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