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Amelia Boynton Robinson was an American activist who dedicated her life to fighting for the voting rights of African-Americans. She was a notable leader of the American Civil Rights Movement and a key leader in the 1965 Selma to Montgomery voting rights marches.
See the fact file below for more information on the Amelia Boynton Robinson or alternatively, you can download our 23-page Amelia Boynton Robinson worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
Early Life and Education
- Amelia Boynton Robinson was born as Amelia Platts on August 18, 1911 to George and Anna Eliza Platts in Savannah, Georgia.
- Amelia was of African-American, German, Indian, and Cherokee descent.
- She grew up in a Christian household together with her nine siblings.
- At the very young age of ten, Amelia accompanied her mother in campaigning for women’s right to vote.
- Amelia attended Georgia State Industrial College for Colored Youth for two years before transferring to Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama and graduating with a home economics degree in 1927.
- Amelia pursued further studies at Tennessee State, Virginia State, and Temple University.
Life as an Activist
- She worked as a teacher in Georgia before working as a demonstration agent in Dallas County with the US Department of Agriculture.
- While working as a demonstration agent during the Great Depression, she met agriculture extension agent Samuel William Boynton, who would later on become her husband.
- She married Samuel Boynton in 1936 and then had her first son, Bruce Carver Boynton.
- In 1933, she co-founded the Dallas County Voters League.
- From the 1930s to the 1950s, she held voter registration drives in Selma.
- Despite difficulties for African-Americans in Alabama to get registered to vote, Amelia was able to do so in 1934.
- When her husband Samuel Boynton died in 1963, activism in the Civil Rights Movement was at its peak.
- Amelia’s home on Lapsley Street became a venue where activists gathered and strategies for voting rights campaigns in Selma, Alabama were planned.
- Amelia ran for Congress in 1964 making her the first African-American female candidate to run for office in Alabama and the first woman to run for the Democratic Party in Alabama.
- However, she was not elected to the position.
- From 1964 to 1965, she planned demonstrations for civil and voting rights campaigns alongside Martin Luther King and other key African-American figures.
- Only 300 African-American people were registered to vote in Selma, Alabama when 50% of Selma’s population was black.
- On March 7, 1965, Amelia helped in the organization of a march initiated by James Bevel from Selma to Montgomery.
- The Selma to Montgomery march was an act of protest for the privileges deprived of the black population.
- That day became known as Bloody Sunday because police interrupted the march and beat the protesters once they crossed into Dallas County.
- Boynton was beaten unconscious by one of the police officers.
- She also sustained throat burns from the tear gas.
- Two days after that chaotic march, Martin Luther King led another march in which Amelia also participated.
- The second march stopped after crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
- A third march, which was participated in by 25,000 people, was organized on March 24 and they finally reached the state capital of Montgomery.
- Those marches contributed to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
- In August of 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the act into law in a ceremony where Amelia was invited as a guest of honor.
- 11,000 African-Americans were registered to vote after the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
Life After the Civil Rights Movement
- Amelia remarried twice: in 1969 to musician Bob W. Billups (who died in 1973) and in 1976 to former classmate James Robinson (who died in 1988).
- In 1983, Amelia met controversial Democrat politician Lyndon LaRouche.
- She was later known as LaRouche’s spokeswoman, according to biographical accounts.
- In 1984, following her LaRouche affiliation, she became a founding member and Vice President of the Schiller Institute.
- Controversies surrounding LaRouche and Amelia’s affiliation with him caused the proclamation of “Amelia Boynton Robinson Day” in Seattle to be revoked in 1992.
- As Vice President of the Schiller Institute, she toured Europe and spoke with the youth about racism, her past work, and her support for Martin Luther King and Lyndon LaRouche.
- Amelia retired from her vice presidency of the Schiller Institute in 2009.
Death and Legacy
- Amelia wrote her memoir entitled Bridge Across Jordan.
- Amelia died on August 26, 2015, eight days after her 104th birthday, after suffering a series of strokes.
- She was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr. Freedom Medal in 1990.
- In 2014, Lapsley Street in Selma, Alabama was renamed Boyntons Street in honor of Amelia and her husband Samuel Boynton.
- In 2014, Amelia’s character was portrayed in a film about the 1965 voting rights movement entitled Selma.
- During the Selma Voting Rights Movement 50th Anniversary Jubilee in 2015, former President Barack Obama walked across the Edmund Pettus Bridge alongside Amelia Boynton Robinson in a wheelchair, as a celebration of the freedom she had long fought for.
Amelia Boynton Robinson Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about Amelia Boynton Robinson across 23 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Amelia Boynton Robinson worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about Amelia Boynton Robinson who was an American activist who dedicated her life to fighting for the voting rights of African-Americans.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Amelia Boynton Robinson Facts
- Young Amelia
- Amelia’s Milestones
- Activism Acrostics
- Bloody Sunday
- Selma Activists
- Fact or Lie
- Historical Marches
- Amelia’s Legacy
- 50th Anniversary
- Letter to Amelia
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Link will appear as Amelia Boynton Robinson Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, January 9, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
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