Is it possible that Amelia Boynton Robinson is still an activist at 109? On this weekend, the Selma 50th anniversary march we see President Obama marching on the bridge, holding the hand of Amelia Boynton Robinson. On ”Bloody Sunday,” she was beaten unconscious and her photograph was flashed all over the world, causing massive outrage. We recently celebrated her heroic life here in Los Angeles where she received the Nelson Mandela Leadership Award from Nelson’s grandson Kweku. The following day, Saturday, February 21st, we held a reception for her. Amelia did media interviews including an LA Times article and video. This video shows photographs of that day and footage of Amelia recounting the events of Bloody Sunday while sitting with school children at our fundraiser.
Amelia, Paul Webb, Kweku, SamperinisMany of us are JUST NOW discovering this unsung heroine of the Civil Rights Movement. A voting rights pioneer already at the age of 10, Amelia and her mother went town to town by horse and buggy to register voters. Selma was actually Her idea. She was right in the fray with Martin and Coretta King, and is amply depicted in the Oscar nominated film, Selma. Amelia was a successful business woman and ran for Congress in 1964.
Amelia is a deserving candidate for a presidential medal of honor. Even now she is currently working to help drug dependent teen parents. Yet Amelia has outlived her savings so she is in need of more than a shiny medal. We honored her here in Los Angeles and raised funds for her needs as a centenarian. Now we can recognize this charismatic heroine and celebrate her epic journey that started long before the 1960 struggles.