I had a 30-minute ride to the train station. I nestled into my seat, opened my phone, and saw that Representative Elijah Cummings had passed away.
I gasped and covered my mouth. The driver peeked at me in his rear-view mirror. He saw me shaking my head and whispering what many Americans whispered last Thursday: He was only 68.
My mind turned to my father, whom I had just left at a hotel in Princeton, New Jersey. Dread burned in my chest. To get my mind off my father’s mortality, I started reading obituaries for Cummings, who will lie in state today at the U.S. Capitol. The more I learned about the gentleman who would not yield, the more my chest burned for his family, for my family—for all the black families worrying about the mortality of their loved ones, for the black families burying their loved ones this week in caskets made from tears of They had so much more to give.
Baltimore is the most populous city in the U.S. state of Maryland, as well as the 30th most populous city in the United States, with a population of 602,495 in 2018 and also the largest such independent city in the country. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.802 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (64 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2018 population of 9,797,063.
Baltimore is also the second-largest seaport in the Mid-Atlantic. The city’s Inner Harbor was once the second leading port of entry for immigrants to the United States. In addition, Baltimore was a major manufacturing center. After a decline in major manufacturing, heavy industry, and restructuring of the rail industry, Baltimore has shifted to a service-oriented economy. Johns Hopkins Hospital (founded 1889) and Johns Hopkins University (founded 1876) are the city’s top two employers.