Celebrating Black Politicians & Remembering
Elijah E. Cummings
Each year Sweet Blackberry shares an activity highlighting Black politicians who have made there mark on Capitol Hill. It is with a tender heart that this year, we also highlight the accomplishments of Representative Elijah E. Cummings and Representative John Conyers, who was the longest sitting African American congressman of African descent.
In school, we are often taught about our civil duties such as obeying the laws, participating in the democratic process, but there are few that go beyond this call of duty and work to develop laws reflective of all people. As American history continues to go on, this could be seen by the diversity coming to congress in recent years. While often times, we highlight the firsts of many (like the activity below), it's also important to recognize the seconds and the thirds. It's important to continuously be represented and this is what these two men did for their communities.
Elijah E. Cummings will be remembered greatly for the power in his presence. Born the son of sharecroppers, Cummings held a 23-year career on Capitol Hill representing the city of Baltimore where he was born and raised. Cummings was elected to the Maryland House of Delegates in 1983 and in 1995, he became the first African American to serve as speaker pro tempore in the Maryland Legislature. Elected in 1996 to the House of Representatives,
Cummings most recently served as the chairman of the House Oversight Committee. In honor of his legacy, flags at Capitol Hill were flown at half-staff.
Following Sweet Blackberry's mission, to share lesser known triumphs by African Americans throughout history,
check out this month's activity
highlighting the men and women who became the "first" of many to hold public office at the local, state and national levels.