Welcome to Baltimore & Me, a new community column for the ‘round away citizens of Baltimore.
My name is Tiffany Christina. West Baltimore Edmondson Village. Up Top. Cooks Lane, is where I’m from. ‘Round the way we call the community where we were raised “stomping grounds.”
But to be clear: this whole city raised me— from the quaint classrooms at Thomas Jefferson Elementary School, to the long halls of West Baltimore Middle, up to the Castle on the Hill at 33rd and The Alameda (City Forever, ‘02) and on down the road to Morgan State University on a college scholarship from Congressman Elijah Cummings (D-MD).
The 17th District Senatorial Scholarship allowed me to pursue higher education in English and training in journalism at Morgan—scot-free— for four years. These days it takes, on average,
five years to complete a traditional undergraduate degree, and that’s how long it took me.
I can only imagine the struggles my mother would have faced to get me across that stage if it that scholarship wasn’t available. Pause: I would like to publicly express my gratitude for Congressman Cummings and other civic leaders like him who envision a better Baltimore and have committed their life’s work to creating opportunities for “B kids” [Baltimore kids] from ‘round the way like me.
Even though I have yet to met you personally, Congressman Cummings, I have been in your presence in more ways than one— from the pews at the New Psalmist Baptist Church to press conferences outside Coppin State University. I humbly thank you from the bottom of my heart for all that you do.
In the words of one of my favorite hiphop artists, AZ, “some people see things and say, ‘why’/I see things and say, ‘why not.’” In this space I will share stories of Baltimoreans who share the same sentiment regarding the endless possibilities for growth, health, peace and prosperity in this city.
People like Aisha and her partner Cole, who have created a cozy space in the historic Reservoir Hill that draws dreamers, moving and shakers from across the city, and around the world,
for coffee and conversation It is my intention for Baltimore & Me to be a place where the true colors of our city radiate in print and the stories from ‘round the way shine.
Until next time— Live more. Love more. Be more. Peace.