My mom is amazing. For Women’s History Month and in celebration of Black History all year, I celebrate my mom, China Long.  Her drive and resilience have most inspired my commitment to public service and my current run for Delegate to the Maryland Legislature.  

My mom is one of eight children from a coal miner’s holler in West Virginia.  She graduated from high school and moved to Maryland, where she raised me single-handedly, while working as a secretary for 15 years. For most of those years, she worked at least two jobs, sometimes three, just to make ends meet.

But through every challenge, including breast cancer, my mom saw herself as young enough to learn and young enough to dream. She reinvented her skills and sense of self so she could make a better life for both of us.  

For four years, my mom attended night school at a community college, eventually earning her Associate’s degree.  She remarried and moved to California to open her own business as a paralegal.  At age 45, she earned her Bachelor’s degree through a night program.  At age 52, she earned her Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy through an evening and weekend program.  

Today, my mom and stepdad are living their American dream.  They own a lovely home. My mom is a small business owner with thriving practices as a therapist and a paralegal. 

Thank God my mom believed in herself enough to take her first course at the Prince George’s County Community College. Now, after more than 25 years in business helping people through divorces, bankruptcies, terminal illnesses, addictions, and more, thousands of lives are positively changed thanks to my mom.

My mom is a shining, resilient example of the strength of women and the strength found in the black experience.  I’m running for Delegate to guarantee to every Marylander the same hope and opportunity that made my mom’s story possible—and my own. 

I love you Mom !

From left to right, China Terrell, China Long (my mom), Michael Long (my stepdad)