By Rev. Dorothy S. Boulware, Special to the AFRO

No one would deny Baltimore is a city with its own unique challenges, but it is so much more than tally-marks in negative columns. Ask any Baltimorean, native or transplant. Baltimore rises above continually and it’s because of the people, the neighborhoods, the indomitable spirit of the collective…it’s because Baltimore is destined to soar, to compound the victory of its beginnings with ingenuity, technology, faith and sheer human determination.

Because of that, it’s always a good time to celebrate our city and that’s exactly what the AFRO is doing with its upcoming publication, “The Thing I Love About Baltimore.” It’s a book compiled of chapters by local – teachers, students, preachers, leaders, young people, not-as-young people, singles and couples. It’s a declaration that there’s so much to love about Baltimore as each writer, people you know well, highlights different aspects, different places, different concepts that all spell out the beauty of Baltimore.

What do you love about Baltimore?

In the coming weeks, we will print your Baltimore “loves” in the paper, and select the most interesting of them to include on a page in the book. I love the Inner Harbor. I love City Hall Plaza. I love the Great Blacks in Wax Museum and the people who created it. I love the squeegee guys. I love the folks who defend the squeegee guys. I love the people who weep when the “running man” is assaulted. I love the folks who show up at City Hall when things aren’t going well. I also love the ones who show up to celebrate Resurrection Sunday. I love the debaters. The policy makers. The scout leaders. The marching bands. I could go on and on.

What do you love about Baltimore? Send your responses, 100 words or less, to [email protected] as soon as possible so they can be published. Look for them in the paper and online at Afro.com. And maybe even on the locals’ page of “The Thing I Love About Baltimore.”

“The Thing I Love About Baltimore” can be preordered by calling the AFRO front desk at 410-554-8200 or at [email protected].