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

ON THE PASSING OF LANI GUINIER & SIDNEY POITIER

1.8.2022

Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely

Dr. Dorothy Cotton

I had no idea that the first week of 2022 would barely pass before we'd lose two icons in the civil rights space back-to-back, Lani Guinier and Sidney Poitier.  While Lani's career was based on her work in civil rights, Sidney used his career to leverage visibility for civil rights activism. Both approaches, along with others, are of significant value and necessary.  My prose this week is in their honor...

"A   C E R T A I N   L U M I N O S I T Y:  S I D N E Y   A N D   L A N I"

​​by Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely

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Sidney Poitier with Harry Belafonte at the historic  March on Washington in 1963

They both shone so  brightly

Came from families of distant shores

Had visions beyond the mundane

Accepted their gifts

Perfected their craft

Blazed trails

Rose to heights 

On stage and in the courtroom

Withstood criticisms

Ignored the risks

Strove harder

Worked longer

Gave greater.

They will be so remembered

Their light both illumined and revered the darkness

Even as it overcame in triumph…any blindness.

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Lani Guinier with Rosa Parks at the March on Washington's 30th Anniversary in 1993

© 2022 Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely. All rights reserved.