We’re Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy
In a final call to action from a dearly missed champion of democracy, Elijah Cummings’ new posthumously published memoir offers an inspiring lesson of how we can do better in this country. Born and raised in Baltimore, Cummings was the first of his family to attend college. After graduating Phi Beta Kappa and then law school, he began his career of public service in the Maryland House of Delegates. He became the first African-American in Maryland history to be named Speaker Pro Tem before being sworn in as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives in 1996, where Congressman Cummings proudly represented Maryland’s 7th District until his passing in 2019. Known for his poise, intellect, and influence, Cummings was one of the most respected figures in contemporary politics, serving the people of Baltimore and illustrating the importance of working with—and for—the underdog. Yet in his final years of life, Cummings recognized that democracy was the underdog. We’re Better Than This draws from Cummings’s own life to show the formative moments that prepared him for the disturbing first years of the Trump presidency and spurred him to hold the administration accountable for their actions. Sharing his legacy with ALOUD, the late Congressman’s widow, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, is a social entrepreneur, speaker, writer, strategist, and a former chair of the Maryland Democratic Party who is on a mission to drive society toward inclusion. She’ll be joined in conversation with the coauthor of the book, James Dale, as they reflect on Cummings’ urgent message for preserving our democracy as our country moves forward with a new administration.