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 Georgia—the state that Peggy's great-great grandparents, William & Ellen Craft, famously escaped from slavery nearly 115 years earlier...
Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely
WE. WILL. NEVER. BREAK.
Dr. Dorothy Cotton
Today, as the great-great granddaughter of famous 19th century abolitionists and escaped slaves, Ellen and William Craft, I celebrate the recent removal of the statue of 18th century British slave trader, Edward Colston in Bristol, England.
Simultaneously, as we funeralized George Floyd in Houston, Texas, we learned that the British Black Lives Matter supporters and other protesters had collectively toppled and rolled the statue of slave trader Colton into the Avon River, at Bristol Harbour. accompanied by cheers and calls for justice!
Colston was a member of the Royal African Company that sanctioned the kidnapping and facilitated the inhumane transportation of over 80,000 men, women and children from Africa to the Americas in the 17th and 18th centuries.
And I am so proud that in the 1850s prior to the Civil War, my formerly enslaved great-great-grandparents traveled and spoke throughout the British Isles, in alliance with white abolitionists, to bring an end to slavery in America (The U.K. had already abolished slavery in 1833).
As a civil rights activist for more than 60 years, my heart is burdened…However, I recognize signs of hope in the explosion of international protests and initiatives to hold the world accountable for the desecration of any human rights—wherever it exists.
After the slave-trader’s statue was toppled, a protester was pictured with his knee on the figure's neck in solidarity with American protestors for the brutal action by the Minnesota police officer, who murdered Floyd.
This world-wide explosion for dignity and the struggle for equality and human rights MUST continue until we can ALL breathe free.