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Year-long celebration of women of the Voting Rights Movement begins Saturday

The Selma to Montgomery National Historical Trail (NHT) will kick off a year-long event featuring the women of the Voting Rights Movement this Saturday at the Selma Interpretive Center at 1 p.m.

Throughout 2020, one or two women who were instrumental in the Voting Rights Movement will be featured each month at either the Selma or Lowndes Interpretive Center.

The premier program on Saturday will feature Amelia Boynton Robinson and Marie Foster.

Robinson’s early activism included holding black voter registration drives in Selma from the 30s through the 50s.

In 1964, she became both the first African-American and the first woman to run for a congressional seat from Alabama.

The following year, Boynton participated in a civil rights march during which she and her fellow activists were beaten by Alabama State Troopers.

The event, immortalized in history as Bloody Sunday, drew nationwide attention to the Civil Rights Movement.

In 1990, Boynton was the recipient of the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Freedom.

She died on Aug. 26, 2015, at the age of 104.

Foster was also known for her involvement in voter registration efforts and her participation in Bloody Sunday.

Foster was one of the original eight members of the Dallas County Voters League, who came to be called the Courageous Eight.

The group worked with Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other civil rights leaders to make Selma the center of the national crusade.

Foster died Sept. 6, 2003, at the age of 85.

Saturday’s program will begin with an introduction to the year-long program, followed by a discussion about the roles of Boynton and Foster within the Voting Rights Movement.

The event is free and open to the public.