"Dred Scott and all slaves were told that they were not persons but property and we’re telling babies in the womb that they are not children but that they are the property of their mother. It was 'inconvenient' for the slaveholders to not have slaves; and it's 'inconvenient' for mothers to have children they don’t want. But that doesn’t make them any less human."
-- Lynne Jackson, great, great-granddaughter of Dred Scott
"Our entire history here in this country has just been a press for life, a push for life…The Middle Passage, coming over from Africa, to survive, to live under a brutal chattel slavery system, where we were treated as nothing more than property. We have pushed for life through that.
And then through the Civil War we finally had freedom, at least a declared freedom. But we learned there was so much more to freedom. We had to be free in our mind, free to earn a living for our families, and so we continued to push forward for life…
But only to be disappointed and pushed back through a failed Reconstruction and through an increase in lynchings and through an upsurge in violence. And yet again we’re pushing forward for life.
"And so my great grandfather came on the scene and he illustrates what just one life can accomplish – just an ordinary life, but one that’s governed by God and wants to see betterment for all. He was called a minister of reconciliation. He said he would never let a man make him stoop so low as to hate him and would never let his grievances overshadow his opportunities. And he was saying it was an act of his will, for he had every right to be full of anger and hatred and bitterness.
"And yet we were pushing for the fullness of life.
"And then there was Dr. King, and it was like the culmination. Finally, we had civil rights. He opened up that opportunity for us to really pursue happiness.
"All this is germaine to the issue of life that we speak about now. As a people today, when we hear that there are so many abortions in the Black Community, it’s so much against who we are as a people. And we’ve got to make it known to our people that our whole existence in this country has been about the right to life. So how dare we snuff it out!"
-- Gloria Jackson, great-granddaughter of Booker T. Washington