Six hundred marchers assembled in Selma on Sunday, March 7, 1965 and crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge en route to Montgomery for justice
Thousands of people are gathering in Selma, Alabama to join President Barack Obama and global civil rights leaders at the 50th anniversary commemoration of the violent confrontation “Bloody Sunday”. In 1965, activists crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge were beaten by police while demonstrating for voting rights.
Selma is not just about commemorating the past, it’s about honoring the legends who helped change this country through your actions today, in the here and now.”
-President Barack Obama
Tomorrow March 8th is International Women’s Day, the great Selma civil rights leader Amelia Boynton Robinson‘s legacy will be elevated on 125th in the streets of Harlem. The United Nations women’s organization Harlem Women International will join the Community Mayor of Harlem/ Goodwill Ambassador to Africa, Queen Mother Dr. Delois Blakely, to celebrate women all over the world 50 years after “Bloody Sunday” in Selma. Dr. Blakely had the honor of marching with Civil Rights leaders and Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson, who is now 103 years of age.
To protest disenfranchisement of blacks and segregation, Amelia Boynton Robinson helped organize a march to the state capital of Montgomery, initiated by James Bevel, which took place on Sunday March 7, 1965. Led by John Lewis, Hosea Williams, Bob Mants, Rosa Parks, and other Civil Rights pioneers were among the marchers. The event became known as “Bloody Sunday” when county and state police stopped the march and beat demonstrators after they left the Edmund Pettus Bridge and crossed into the county. Boynton was beaten unconscious; the photograph of her lying on Edmund Pettus Bridge went around the world. Another short march led by Martin Luther King, Jr. took place two days later; they turned back. With federal protection and thousands of marchers joining them, a third march reached Montgomery on March 24, entering with over 25,000 people supporting.
In 1964 Boynton ran for Congress from Alabama, the first Black American female ever to do so, and the first female of any race to run for the ticket of the Democratic Party in Alabama. Hoping to encourage Blacks to register and vote, she received 10% of the vote.
The events of “Bloody Sunday” have contributed to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965; Ms. Boynton was a guest of honor when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law. In 1990 she was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Medal. Her memoir, Bridge Across Jordan, includes tributes from Coretta Scott King and Andrew Young. Mrs. King wrote:
In Bridge Across Jordan, Amelia Boynton Robinson has crafted an inspiring, eloquent memoir of her more than five decades on the front lines of the struggle for racial equality and social justice. This work is an important contribution to the history of the black freedom struggle, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to everyone who cares about human rights in America.
There is an ongoing appeal to help keep Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson in her own home and fund her round-the-clock caregivers. Donations can be made to Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson, P.O. Box 333, Tuskegee, Ala. 36087.
Watch the original “Bloody Sunday” March from 1965 below.
-Infinite Wiz (@infinitewiz)