Today we mourn a great one, what a loss to the American people.

The late Rep. Elijah E. Cummings was born during a time when Black people were not allowed a seat in big board rooms, leading the democratic party or free to curse on the radio. It is hard for some to imagine the struggles that he endured as a sharecropper’s son, but those obstacles fueled his spirit and helped him rise up to become leader of the Congressional Black Caucus from 2003 to 2004 and ultimately being the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee for U.S. House of Representatives that courageous investigated President Donald Trump.

Born Jan. 18, 1951, think about the impact it had on his life when while in grade school, a counselor told him that he would never be a lawyer because he was slow and did not speak well?  In 1996, he told The Associated Press that he was “devastated” and that his “whole life was changed.” Cummings said, “I became very determined.”

Cummings served people, but was an ally and advocate for poor Blacks in Baltimore, Maryland, where he was elected to lead for over many generations.

He died early morning Oct. 17 at Johns Hopkins Hospital, leaving to mourn his wife, Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, and a host of family and friends.

Rockeymoore Cummings, the chairwoman of Maryland’s Democratic Party shared in a statement to the public, “Congressman Cummings was an honorable man who proudly served his district and the nation with dignity, integrity, compassion and humility. He worked until his last breath because he believed our democracy was the highest and best expression of our collective humanity and that our nation’s diversity was our promise, not our problem.”

His dignity and spirit changed the way that the world viewed Black politicians, and he will forever be missed. What an honor to watch him lead.