Amelia Boynton Robinson, a civil rights activist who suffered injuries at the hands of police during a 1965 protest in Selma, Alabama, has died, MSN is reporting. She was 104-years-old.
In a statement issued by her son, Bruce Boynton, Mrs. Boynton died at around 2:20 a.m. in a Montgomery hospital.
On March, 7, 1965, Mrs. Boynton and about 600 protesters attempted to walk across the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Alabama. A contingent of Alabama State Troopers tried to block the protesters, according to Black Past, and ordered them to turn around; when they refused, cops shot tear gas into the crown and beat the protesters with billy clubs.
— Charlotte Williams (@charluv2011) August 26, 2015
Among the injured was then-54-year-old Amelia Boynton Robinson; a photo of her badly-beaten body, near death, being carried to safety by a fellow protester, became an icon of the civil rights movement. That, and other photos of the brutality suffered by the protesters, in an event that would come to be known as “Bloody Sunday,” captivated the nation and brought attention to the cause, according to Yahoo News.
In January, Democratic Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell praised Mrs. Boynton’s actions that day.
“Mrs. Boynton Robinson suffered grave injustices on the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma at the hands of state troopers on Bloody Sunday, yet she refused to be intimidated.”
In a 2015 event to commemorate Bloody Sunday, President Barack Obama pushed Mrs. Boynton across the bridge in a wheelchair.
Ultimately, Mrs. Boynton’s and others’ efforts let to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as Sewell explained in January.
“She marched with Dr. Martin Luther King, my colleague Rep. John Lewis and thousands of others from Selma to Montgomery and ultimately witnessed the day when their work led to the passage of the historic Voting Rights Act of 1965.”
Later in her career, Mrs. Boynton became a founding board member of the controversial Schiller Institute, according to The History Makers, a position she would hold well into the 2000’s.
In his statement, Mr. Boynton described the role his mother played in shaping the Civil Rights Movement.
“The truth of it is that was her entire life. That’s what she was completely taken with. She was a loving person, very supportive — but civil rights was her life.”
As of this post, funeral arrangements for Amelia Boynton Robinson have not been made public.
[Image courtesy of Getty Images/Jason Davis]