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...
W E E K L Y
W O R D
ON THE PASSING OF LANI GUINIER & SIDNEY POITIER
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
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
Rose to heights
On stage and in the courtroom
Ignored the risks
They will be so remembered
Their light both illumined and revered the darkness
Even as it overcame in triumph…any blindness.
Lani Guinier with Rosa Parks at the March on Washington's 30th Anniversary in 1993
© 2022 Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely. All rights reserved.