Press Release

NAACP Statement on Passing of Civil Rights Leader Amelia Boynton Robinson

August 27, 2015

BALTIMORE, MD – The NAACP family is saddened at the passing of civil rights activist and freedom fighter Amelia Boynton Robinson at the age of 104.  Ms. Boynton Robinson, often referred to as the matriarch of the voting rights movement, was the first female Democratic candidate from Alabama to run for a seat in Congress. One of the organizers of the 1965 Montgomery to Selma march, she was attacked by state troopers while crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama.  Fifty years after “Bloody Sunday,” Ms. Boynton Robinson was pushed in a wheelchair across that same bridge and held the hand of President Barack Obama as she attended a commemoration ceremony earlier this year. 

“Less than a month ago, I stood on the steps of Amelia Boynton’s former home in Selma as we launched our 860 mile  America’s Journey for Justice,”  said Cornell William Brooks, president and CEO of the NAACP.  “Ms. Boynton had the courage of conviction to stand and stare into the ugly face of hateful violence and yet see a better and beautiful America–even as she was beaten on a bridge on a sabbath called Bloody Sunday. Through both bloodied sacrifice and bold leadership,  Ms. Boynton helped pass national legislation that prohibited voter discrimination for 50 years.  As I march, I dedicate my miles to Ms. Boynton and honor her legacy by remaining steadfast in our commitment to ensure that our fundamental right to vote is returned to its former strength, and that everyone has the ability to participate in our democracy.”

“Amelia Boynton was a woman of faith who dedicated her life to empowering people, and her work for civil rights came after decades spent fighting for women’s suffrage,” said Roslyn M. Brock, chairman of the NAACP.  “Her strength and perseverance were an inspiration that brought the civil rights movement to Selma. Ms. Boynton believed that everyone had the responsibility to oppose injustice and conquer prejudice.  Her presence will be missed but her legacy of courage and unifying people for the greater good remains an example for us all.”

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Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our five “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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