Home Blog "They Believed in Me"—Elijah Cummings on His Own School Struggles

“They Believed in Me”—Elijah Cummings on His Own School Struggles

Our hearts broke a little today when we heard the sad and unexpected news of Representative Elijah Cummings’ death. His was always a unifying voice, a voice that reminded us that “we are better than this.” While countless media outlets predictably mangled their headlines about Cummings’ passing by making them about Trump, we all know that Elijah Cummings’ life and legacy are so much better, so much bolder, and so much more beautiful than his relationship with the current president. This son of sharecroppers, who fought his way out of special education and onto college, law school and ultimately the United States Congress, was special. Very special.

Today we share a clip of Elijah Cummings, in his own words, talking about his own struggles in school and how he went from feeling “like a caged bird” in class to a boy who could (and would!) soar to the highest of heights. America is filled with boys who feel the same way he did—may we honor Cummings’ legacy by fighting for them.

Godspeed, Representative Cummings. We will miss you.

What Do You Think?
Erika Sanzi
Erika Sanzi is a former educator and elected school committee member and the editor of this site, Project Forever Free. She is also a senior visiting fellow at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute. Her blog is Good School Hunting and her Substack is Sanzi Says. She occasionally writes for other outlets including Scary Mommy, The 74, and The Hill. She is the mother of three school aged sons and calls Rhode Island home.

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