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...

MY

W E E K L Y 

W O R D

12.14.20

Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely

Dr. Dorothy Cotton

I wanted to post today on the date of the official Electoral College vote, because I assumedcorrectly, to my dismaythat there would credible threats of violence against electors in states that Joe Biden has certified wins (including singular and multiple recounts).  I wanted to share a poem I wrote while in Georgia as a SNCC volunteer in 1962,  after the home we were staying in was shot up—because we were there... While I appreciate the recent solidarity of Republicans and Independents horrified by these current threats pronounced on behalf Trump and the GOP, unfortunately for centuries the go-to move for those fearing fellow citizens of color acquiring equal rights has been violence vs. respectful dialogue... And for me nearly sixty years later, the continued desire to suppress the right to vote is all still very Telling...

T E L L I N G

by Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely

You tell me

I tell you

We tell each other

"Don’t be afraid!"

 

He told her

she told him

they told them

It would be alright!

 

Then the shot came through the window

Heard it fly over and past us

And across the room where we slept low

and on the floor on makeshift beds:

(just a precaution Mama Dolly had said)

 

The bullet embedded in the wall.

I told you it could happen!

We smelled the dusky smoke of it.

 

This was real now:

Lee County night.

Mama Dolly on the porch.

Her rifle across her knees.

 

Our non-violent mantra...

so quiet in our mouths.

© 2020 Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely. All rights reserved.