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...
Dr. Dorothy Cotton
Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely
For those who may still feel that people are being paranoid about making sure their votes are counted, I would like to reiterate that my involvement with SNCC was because citizens of this country were being denied their right to vote. That people were beaten and killed in pursuit of securing the simple right to vote, is not hyperbole it is a real fact. I actually knew Andy Goodman from going to school in New York, and just like that he was murdered—for wanting to empower fellow Americans! So, if you haven't already, please #VOTE early, if still available. If early voting it is not, plan how you'll vote this Tuesday, November 3rd and know your voting rights, and if you have any problems, please call the IWillVote.com Hotline.
To say the GOP's voter suppression efforts have triggered bad memories of local and state governments doing the same during my SNCC days in the '60s, is an understatement. Like many others, I was actually ARRESTED multiple times for advocating equal rights. And to those who are still in denial, at this point it is now very clear that one party wants to ensure that all who are eligible actually vote, while the other party wants to prevent eligible voters from voting—even during a pandemic...even waging legal fights they know they're likely to lose. So, again #VOTE, there is NO democracy without you using it... And this week's piece speaks to where we stand...then and now...
S T A N D
by Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely
as if a house so divided
can yet and still—
Its doors closed to
the breezes of dignity and truth.
It is not surprising that
our military must now stand guard
fearing interior collapse
or external destruction.
We who have longed for the days of gardens and dogs and children
Must now endure
sour shovels and complaints of
discarded Christmas decorations.
Once I visited The White House in 1961, I was so moved by the question...
"Ask not what your country can do for you,…”
What would I do for my country?
Well now, and in retrospect,
I understand it was not really who was in that House
that mattered so much,
But It was what was within me,
in each of us
that could ultimately determine
that the People’s House
would yet and still—
© 2020 Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely. All rights reserved.