(NNPA)—“Wherever there has been struggle, Black women have been identified with that struggle.”—Ella Baker, “The Black Woman in the Civil Rights Struggle,” 1969
Marilyn Mosby was sworn into office as Maryland state’s attorney for Baltimore city in January of this year at the Baltimore War Memorial Plaza building. Before unseating the incumbent, Gregg Bernstein, for the job, the 35-year-old had never held an elected office.
Five months later, the city’s newly-minted, top prosecutor—the youngest chief prosecutor in any major American city—returned to the steps of the War Memorial Plaza to announce charges, including murder, manslaughter and assault, against six police officers in the unwarranted death of Freddie Gray—simultaneously emerging into the national spotlight as an advocate for those demanding police accountability and an adversary for those who would protect the status quo.
On the night of her swearing in, Mosby was joined by a host of dignitaries, including her husband, Baltimore City Councilman Nick Mosby—who represents the West Baltimore area that has been the backdrop to the protests over Gray’s death—along with her two daughters. Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake also sat among the evening’s guests and, in a speech, advised Mosby that, “Public service is not just a job, it’s a calling and it is a privilege.”
Mosby’s calling to public service was born of tragedy and tradition. When Mosby was 14, her 17-year-old cousin was mistaken for a drug dealer and shot and killed near her home. She often credits her cousin’s murder as the reason why she decided to become a prosecutor.