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This image is of Peggy (R), then a 19 year-old SNCC member, next to future civil rights icon, Dr. Dorothy Cotton (L), after a 1962 church burning in Georgiathe state that Peggy's great-great grandparents, William & Ellen Craft, famously escaped from slavery nearly 115 years earlier...





Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely

Dr. Dorothy Cotton

As a result of the RNC convention this past week, followed by the devastating passing of Chadwick Boseman, I was moved to pen these lines so as not to lose all hope and to urge us to follow a path toward a new vision for our land and its multitudinous peoples.

We need a new music

that matters…that teaches...that mends.

A music that does not shatter…does not ever upend.

It is a music of conversations…

on back porches, buses, subways, and out in the streets.

A music that ignores the ugly poison in those incessant nasty tweets.

It is a music where people greet and chat and share

Where truth must consistently dare

to whisper its daily affirmations

create the space that blocks the discord

reaches for one accord:

It is the music of a truth-telling orchestra.


Chadwick Boseman brought us our Wakanda  

His life gone too soon, these days we cry,

His talent and gifts showed us how…we already knew the why.

But we can celebrate his stalwart stance

And recognize he took his chance

to honor the ancestors who sang us through their pain,

who stomped out the darkness of whole generations

for those of us who most certainly had to remain.


We need a new music.

a tempo that rises

a crescendo that inspires

closes old wounds that just need to expire

strikes notes that can heal

brings forth a new zeal.


In this language of a new music

we can isolate the hatred,

drown out the nay-sayers

become the uplifting Today-Sayers

who sing out against the bullies with bullets

that are determined to maim and kill.


So let us bring on the trumpets, hear an overture of renewal

Play the blues of resistance

Clap to a gospel of reconciliation,

Sing hymns of forgiveness and relief

And call out the ballads of these new beliefs.


If we are to survive

It is the music that can take us there

bring on these breaths of fresh air.

May we learn these new lyrics,

Hear a symphony full of hope

that drowns out the cacophony of delusion, destruction and despair.

Unbinds the chains that fetter

Urges percussive beats of…




This new music must be prelude, interlude, and postlude.

It must arrange for a bold and healing promise  

before this coda of disease and economic dysfunction...

becomes the chorus of our nation.

© 2020 Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely. All rights reserved.


by Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely

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