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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...





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 heartlike many around the worldis broken.  Below is my tribute to my friend, John Lewis. 


(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.

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