[In May and June of 2020, a time of pandemic isolation, economic collapse, and intense partisan rivalry, videos of Minneapolis cops lynching George Floyd — a Black man with his hands cuffed behind his back — sparked nationwide mass protests against widespread police brutality and systemic racism in America.]
It is with both a profound sense of terror and sorrow that I reflect upon our current state of America this morning.
Terror because I have 3 Black sons, 4 Black grandsons, 5 Black granddaughters, 2 Black great-granddaughters and one Black great grandson.
Terror because I have a Black husband and nephews and nieces of color.
Terror because of who currently occupies the White House.
Terror because despite the struggles of my ancestors, we face the same issues of lynching, police brutality and racist and white supremacist suppression of our people that we have faced for centuries.
Sorrow and frustration that I could not walk in a protest march this week. My husband is 85 years of age and struggle, born in Mississippi,and has underlying chronic health conditions that I must protect and honor during this Covid virus crisis.
Sorrow that my great Uncle William Monroe Trotter and his father James M. Trotter had fought all their lives for a better world for Black people, only to see their fears for a divided and unequal America continue to exist.
I realize I am many in my one. That my thoughts and anger and sorrow and fear are not unique, neither for my generation, nor to many who come after me.
Yet I remain astonished at how profoundly I am weeping today....am trembling...am feeling the tide of hopelessness engulf me. I know I cannot rest or even pause in this struggle for justice for my people, for this is my America too.
That I am one who will go down fighting,.......that I will not be satisfied until education, equal justice under the law, land, income, restitution and reparations take place.
I want to close with the words my great Uncle, William Monroe Trotter, who wrote in his Black radical newspaper, the Boston Guardian (1901-1960), in the early years of this century and I know that his legacy is in my blood.
"We 'do' for colored humanity what the world has conspired to deny us.
We will not apologize, and we will not retreat.......
None are free unless all are free."
© Peggy Trotter Dammond Preacely, MPH
— Social justice activist/family historian/Public Health Advocate
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