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
Dr. Dorothy Cotton
This past week, we lost two civil rights giants, Rev. C.T. Vivian and the Hon. John Lewis, U.S. Representative. While I had a chance to meet Rev. Vivian during my SNCC years, I actually knew John... We first met at the famed Tennessee Highlander Folk School for nonviolent training in 1961...As one can imagine, my heart—like many around the world—is broken. Below is my tribute to my friend, John Lewis.
THERE ARE THOSE LIKE JOHN
(an ode to John Lewis)
There are those like John
Whose steps we followed
Whose voice we listened to
Whose life so mattered.
There are those like John who rise up…early
Who stamp their mark on the world…early
Who join the struggle...early
Who show up...always!
Whose whole life is never late.
Who overcome the circumstance of their birth
Who in Sankofa-style reach back…even as they move forward.
This too was John.
Who embraced the least of us,
Who lifted the forgotten among us
Who encouraged the best in us.
Who belonged to all of us.
Whose pain was the pain of a nation.
Whose life had value,
Whose voice gave direction.
Who stood at the crossroads,
And took the road less traveled.
This too…IS John.
— Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely
© 2020 Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely. All rights reserved.