Russia Elects Its First Black Official, Mayor Says “His Skin Is Black, But He’s Russian Inside”

- By Bossip Staff Categories: A "Lil Positivity", Bolitics, News

JEAN-GREGOIRE-SAGBO-RUSSIA-BLACK-POLITICIAN

Jean Gregoire Sagbo has just made history as Russia’s first Black elected official. The 48-year-old “Afro-Russian” is proud of his victory but doesn’t like to be compared to Obama. Pop it to see why.

In a country infamous for racial tension, Jean Sagbo has managed to break barriers, becoming the first elected Black official of Novozavidovo, Russia. The small town has a quaint population of about 10,000 people of which only a handful are black. In an even bigger feat, residents report he is the first politician to get elected fairly, without buying votes. Politicians are reportedly corrupt and prone to assassination (A former administration head – the equivalent of mayor in rural Russia – was shot to death by unknown assailants two years ago.) but Sagbo hopes to save the small town.

He promises to revive the impoverished, garbage-strewn town where he has lived for 21 years and raised a family. His plans include reducing rampant drug addiction, cleaning up a polluted lake and delivering heating to homes.

Sagbo says neither he nor his wife wanted him to get into politics, viewing it as a dirty, dangerous business, but the town council and residents persuaded him to run for office.

He said he feels no racism in the town. “I am one of them. I am home here,” Sagbo said.

People already knew him as a man of strong civic impulse. He had cleaned the entrance to his apartment building, planted flowers and spent his own money on street improvements. Ten years ago he organized volunteers and started what became an annual day of collecting garbage.

“Novozavidovo is dying,” Sagbo said in an interview in the ramshackle municipal building. “This is my home, my town. We can’t live like this.”

“His skin is black but he is Russian inside,” said Vyacheslav Arakelov, the mayor. “The way he cares about this place, only a Russian can care.”

Sagbo isn’t the first black in Russian politics. Another West African, Joaquin Crima of Guinea-Bissau, ran for head of a southern Russian district a year ago but was heavily defeated.

Crima was dubbed by the media “Russia’s Obama.” Now they’ve shifted the title to Sagbo, much to his annoyance.

“My name is not Obama. It’s sensationalism,” he said. “He is black and I am black, but it’s a totally different situation.”

As a councilor, Sagbo has already scored some successes. He mobilized residents to collect money and turn dilapidated lots between buildings into colorful playgrounds with new swings and painted fences.

As he strolled around his neighborhood everyone greeted him and he responded in his fluent, French-African-accented Russian. Boys waved to Sagbo, who had promised them a soccer field.

Sitting in the newly painted playground with her son, Irina Danilenko said it was the only improvement she has seen in the five years she has lived here.

“We don’t care about his race,” said Danilenko, 31. “We consider him one of us.”

Go ‘head Sagbo. Congratulations. One small step for man, one huge step for mankind.

Source

Comments

  • seeker

    Positive story.

  • Lady_Star

    GOOD FOR HIM! Bravo!

  • John

    Good for Sagbo, hope he can make a difference and they don’t blame him as soon as ish starts to go wrong!

  • Big_Nose

    Wow!!! I admit, one of the reasons I never wanted to visit – for example- Moscow, is because those stories I’ve heard about racism. And even worse, violent skinheads. So this story shows that you don’t have to be prejudiced towards Ruskis eithers. But Oksama is still a skank.
    I only hope that the mayor survives. My other prejudice concerns the very, very violent russian mobsters…

  • samech

    Congrats! I’m still not going there……!

  • that damn sh#$ disturber

    ^^ agreed

  • B3 Fearless

    John
    7/26/10, 13:45:pm

    Good for Sagbo, hope he can make a difference and they don’t blame him as soon as ish starts to go wrong!
    ***********************************************

    Co-sign!

  • LYRICS

    interesting!!

  • auntdoggandauntfail

    Hopefully he does well in his area, that is progress and Russia is showing the world that they are not as prejudiced towards people of African descent as the United States which needed civil war and a civil rights acts collectively to give people of African descent the ability to vote and be recognized as a citizen of the United States. Kudos to Russia!!

  • THE SMOKIN' SECTION

    *dead* @ glok

  • smith

    TO auntdoggandauntfail:

    USA is the most receptive country to Black people.
    Get it straight. Thats why Average/middle class African Americans dont like going any where except maybe Africa.
    Unless youre coming to spend lots of money on hotels,tourism attractions etc. They really dont wants us.

    UPLIFT THE USA FOR ITS HISTORY AND EDUCATE YOUR SELF ON MOST LEVEL TO ROOT OUT THE ROTTEN PEOPLE THAT WANTS TO KEEP WEALTH TO ONLY CERTAIN RACES.

    EDUCATION IS THE KEY: NOT SPORTS, NOT ENTERTAINMENT.
    FOR EVERY 1 BILLIONAIRE CREATED IN US, 100,000 PEOPLE GOES INTO POVERTY.

    QUOTE FROM JONATHAN(YAHOO BLOG) :
    Over the course of eight short years — between 2000 and 2008 — the Republicans methodically executed their plan to transform American society. They systematically transferred wealth from the middle class to the wealthiest two percent of Americans — slashing taxes for the wealthy. They cheat the rules that held Wall Street, Big Oil and private insurance companies accountable to the public. They allowed and encouraged the recklessness of the big Wall Street banks that ultimately collapsed the economy and cost eight million Americans their jobs and taxpayers billions in debt. They ignored exploding health care costs, tried to privatize Social Security, gave the drug companies open season to gouge American consumers and presided over a decline in real incomes averaging $2,000 per family. They entangled America in an enormously costly, unnecessary war in Iraq, pursued a directionless policy that left Afghanistan to fester, and sullied America’s good name throughout the world. Their economic policy of cutting taxes for the wealthy and deregulating big Corporations failed to create jobs. In fact, over his eight year term, George Bush’s administration created exactly zero net private sector jobs.

  • Lisa

    All right now! That’s great!

  • drenk

    thats great russia still has a race related murder every other day

  • Curious1 aka Pretty Girl Swag

    Maybe his Idol is Kofi Annan

  • soon to be mom

    My fiance is from Russia. Moved here when he was 4. His family had some revalations about us being together, but once they got to know me they accepted me. Now we have a child on the way and planning a huge wedding. But my fiances fam is all nervous about their people coming from russia and their opinions. I hope with this election views of people of african descent will be on its way to be changed in Russia. I would like to be able to take my child there one day and for him to be proud to be african american and russian.

  • Somali Ninga

    Thats whats up!!

  • katpimpslappedstacks

    You can’t keep a good brother down.

  • ayo

    This is amazing. With that said, i still wouldn’t make a visit to Russia.

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  • She said it.

    This is sooo awesome. One of my goals is to move to another country, learn the language and see how long I can last.

  • KOOL GUy.

    ..COUNRAGEULATION,,TO,THE,MAYORRRRRRRR…HE,PROVEN WE,ALL,REALY,CAN,GET,ALONG,GGGthanks,for readin..

  • http://www.bossip.com Truth Hurths Of Course

    LMAO he doesn’t even get paid.Russia is proven to be the biggest Nazi destination in the world,African students don’t even go outside of their Universities and dorms because of the violence against them.He’s only liked because he uses his own money to fix things in that small little broken town…the minute he stops spending….well you know thew rest LOL

  • drenk

    @ Truth Hurths Of Course

    THANK YOU!!! People are acting like Russia is a tolerant place!!! Its one of the world leaders in race related MURDERS!!

  • what is that?

    I DIDN’T BELIEVE THAT RUSSIA HAD PEOPLE OF COLOR IN THEIR COUNTRY.. MY BAD…GOOD FOR HIM..GO BROTHA!!!

  • http://facebook.com/ggoodei ggoodeimc

    This is awesome. And I am very excited for Russia…because not to long ago they had their racial issues against people of color. Kudos!

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