WOC Wednesday: Amelia Boynton Richardson

Civil rights pioneer Amelia Boynton Richardson has died at the age of 104. While her passing is very sad, it’s worth it to us to acknowledge her long life and the change she was able to bring to the country by inviting Martin Luther King Jr. to Selma, AL. 

Boynton Robinson, as well as many others, including Congressman John Lewis, were nearly killed in the Selma march on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in what became known in the history books as Bloody Sunday. She would later go on to run for office, becoming the first black woman to run for a congressional seat and the first woman period to run as a Democrat from Alabama. The Associated Press stated that Boynton Robinson, a staunch believer in voting rights, hoped it would motivate black people to register and and actually use their voting power.

Several people have written their condolences and their recognition of the important role she played in American history. President Obama said in a written statement:

She was as strong, as hopeful, and as indomitable of spirit—as quintessentially American—as I’m sure she was that day 50 years ago. To honor the legacy of an American hero like Amelia Boynton requires only that we follow her example—that all of us fight to protect everyone’s right to vote.

Boynton Robinson’s neice Germaine Bowser told AL.com, To me she was a hero. She was fearless. We had the Ku Klux Klan shooting in our windows, throwing rocks, calling, threatening to bomb the house. She would say, well, they’re afraid of us. She was calm. She took it in stride.

Ava DuVernay tweeted out her reflections on Boynton Robinson; in DuVernay’s film Selma, Boynton Robinson was played by Lorraine Toussaint.

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What do you love about Amelia Boynton Robinson? Give your opinions in the comments section below!

Amelia Boynton Richardson. Credit: Alabama Archives/Twitter