A Legacy of Abolition and Love in the Work of a Washington, DC Organizer

Malini Ranganathan SAVE THIS

Dr. Bruce Purnell at his Love More Movement Office, holding a portrait of his (clockwise from top) great grandmother, Theodora Purnell; his great great great grandmother, Mary Jones; and his grandfather Lee Purnell (M Ranganathan).

A legacy of abolition runs deep in the ancestry and work of Washington, DC community organizer Dr. Bruce Purnell. Purnell founded the Love More Movement in 2007 in Washington, DC to “heal from the wounds of the past and build communities that actualize the dreams of their ancestors.” Purnell is a fifth generation descendant of abolitionists John and Mary Jones. John Jones was born to a freed, formerly enslaved person in North Carolina in 1817 and moved to Chicago in 1845 with his wife, Mary, and only $3.50 in his pocket. He opened a tailoring business in downtown Chicago, learned to read and write, and, with the aid of his wife, authored…

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