Expand Black History

Amelia Boynton

Amelia Platts Boynton Robinson (born August 18, 1911) is an American woman who was a leader of the American Civil Rights Movement in Selma, Alabama and a key figure in the 1965 march that became known as Bloody Sunday.

The first African-American woman Democratic candidate from Alabama to run for a seat in Congress. She is also helped to plan and lead the 1965 March in Selma. It was Boynton who helped bring Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. to Alabama for the march from Selma to Montgomery by convincing him that Selma was an ideal battleground for a protest to secure voting rights for African-Americans. They planned the march in her home.

On March 7, 1965, when approximately 600 Black protesters attempted to march across Edmund Pettus Bridge and were blocked and attacked, Boynton was beaten unconscious. The photograph of her helpless body was one of many that highlighted the violent acts that resulted in that day being known as, “Bloody Sunday.” Despite her injuries, Boynton participated in the next two marches, the second march, led by Dr. King to showcase the people’s resilience and commitment and the third march in which protesters finally made it to Montgomery’s capitol.

At 103, Boynton recently attended President Obama’s 2015 State Of The Union Address and is still one of the nation’s best-known living civil rights leaders.


Share Your Comments