Congressman Elijah Cummings’ Book “We’re Better Than This” Wins NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Literary Work — Debut Author

The NAACP Image Awards announced that We’re Better Than This: My Fight for the Future of Our Democracy by Congressman Elijah Cummings with James Dale is the winner in the category Outstanding Literary Work–Debut Author. 

“I am grateful to the NAACP Image Awards for selecting We’re Better Than This for this prestigious recognition,” said Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, widow of the late Congressman. “Although he did not live to see his book published, Elijah would have been proud that his words of wisdom are being embraced by so many.” 

“It was my greatest honor to bring Congressman Cummings’ life story in book form to the reading and listening public,” said Lisa Sharkey, Senior Vice President, and Director of Creative Development at HarperCollins. “His life story is an inspiration to so many.” 

“This award is truly a tribute to Elijah’s voice,” said the book’s collaborator James Dale. “His story shows what we can achieve and what we all must do to protect our freedom. It was a privilege to help bring his message to the page.” 

Released by HarperCollins in September 2020, the book features a foreword by House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, an afterword by Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, excerpts from former President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, his pastor, his brother, his daughters, and other select speakers who offered testimonials at Congressman Cummings’ funeral. 

“I am forever grateful for the tremendous contributions of everyone who played a role in bringing this book to life,” said Dr. Rockeymoore Cummings. “Elijah’s story, legacy, and fighting spirit will be uplifted for generations to come.” 

A native of Baltimore, Md., Elijah Cummings was an American politician and civil rights icon who served in the U.S. Congress from 1996 until his death in 2019. Cummings served as the chair of the powerful Committee on Oversight and Reform and is remembered for being a strong voice for equity, justice and accountability. He often reminded Congress and the American people to show up as their best selves, telling us, “We’re Better Than This.” His aptly named book named is an inspiration to all, and comes as the nation is ripped apart and healing after a polarizing election, an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol, ongoing racial injustice and a pandemic that has particularly ravaged our most vulnerable communities.

Cummings previously served in the Maryland House of Delegates from 1983 to 1996, before he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives.