Civil rights leader dedicated life to voting rights

Published 8:06 pm Wednesday, August 26, 2015

U.S. Congresswoman Terri Sewell, a history maker in her own right, tells a story about Amelia Boynton Robinson, called the matriarch of the voting rights movement.

As the story goes, Boynton Robinson is surrounded by a group of young people who repeatedly thank the legend for her work, telling her, “We stand on your shoulders.”

To that Boynton Robinson tells them, “Get off my shoulders — there’s plenty of work to do.”

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The greatest way to honor Mrs. Amelia’s legacy is to continue that work.

A simple way to do that is to make sure you are registered to vote and participate in the political process.

The Boyntons, who helped create the Dallas County Voters League and were fighting for the right to vote as early as the 1930s, understood perhaps better than anyone the sacrifices made for the right to vote.Despite being registered to vote themselves, the couple continued to work to educate and register others so everyone can have a voice in their government.

Boynton Robinson registered to vote in 1932 and voted in every local, state and Presidential election.

That means she voted faithfully for more than 90 years. In her first Presidential election, Franklin D. Roosevelt beat Herbert Hoover to win his first term. She also lived long enough to see Barack Obama, the nation’s first African American president, elected in 2008 and then reelected four years later.

She leaves behind a legacy that will be remembered for generations to come. But she would want us to honor that work by doing something to make a difference today and in the future.