Services will honor Boynton Robinson

Published 11:13 pm Saturday, August 29, 2015

Civil rights icon Amelia Boynton Robinson will be remembered during several services in the coming weeks.

The first will take place Saturday, Sept. 6 at Tabernacle Baptist Church. Boynton Robinson will lie in state from 9 until 11 a.m. A memorial service will begin at 11 a.m.

The next day, her funeral will take place in Tuskegee. She will lie in state at Tuskegee University’s chapel from 10 a.m. until noon. A memorial service there will begin at noon.

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Then on Tuesday, Sept. 8, there will be a “homecoming celebration” at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge at 1 p.m.

Boynton Robinson was one of 600 people to march on what has become known as Bloody Sunday. She was gassed and beaten unconscious. Images of her being carried from the Edmund Pettus Bridge were published in newspapers across the world, galvanizing support for the Selma to Montgomery march and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Boynton Robinson was born Aug. 18, 1911, in Savannah, Ga. to George and Anna Platts.

After graduating from Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University), she moved to Selma with Sam, settling in a home on Lapsley Street.

A registered voter since 1932, she fought to make sure everyone had the same right to participate in the political process.

After Sam’s death in 1963, Boynton Robinson continued fighting for the cause and was one of the Courageous Eight, who invited Martin Luther King Jr. and Southern Christian Leadership Conference to Selma.

In 1964, Boynton Robinson became the first black woman to run for Congress in Alabama.

Almost five months to the day after being beaten on the Edmund Pettus Bridge, Boynton Robinson was invited to Washington, D.C. to see President Lyndon B. Johnson sign the Voting Rights Act on Aug. 6, 1965, giving everyone, regardless of their skin color, the right to vote.

Boynton Robinson attended President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address in January as Selma native and U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell’s guest of honor.

A few weeks later, Boynton Robinson crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge with Obama and U.S. Congressman John Lewis for the 50th anniversary of Bloody Sunday.

She is survived by her son Bruce Boynton and granddaughter Carver Boynton.

The Selma events are being coordinated by Faya Rose Sanders and Catrena Norris Cater. They can be reached at (205) 266-0304 or