Alabama reacts to passing of civil rights legend Amelia Boynton Robinson


Civil rights legend Amelia Boynton Robinson passed away Wednesday.

She celebrated her 104 birthday on August 18, though those closest to her insist she was actually 110.

Boynton Robinson suffered a stroke in July and had been hospitalized in Montgomery, Alabama. Relatives say, she died early Wednesday.

2015 was a year of celebration for Boynton Robinson, as her incredible story was retold to America through the blockbuster “Selma” which portrayed the 1965 demonstrations that led to the passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Below are some of the reactions from politicians across the state:

Gov. Robert Bentley:

I am saddened to hear about the death of Amelia Boynton Robinson. She was a pioneer of the Civil Rights Movement who began working to secure voting rights for African Americans in Selma in the 1930s. Her passion for equality and her spirit to preserve human rights were immense and unwavering. Amelia was a great Alabamian. She was a true pioneer and her life should serve as an example to future generations of leaders.

U.S. Rep. Bradley Byrne (AL-01):

Rebecca and I were saddened to learn that Amelia Boynton Robinson had passed away, but there is little doubt her contributions to our state and the nation will live on for generations. She will forever be remembered for her role in organizing the Selma to Montgomery march in 1965 and her steadfast courage in defense of equal rights for all Americans. Please join me in saying a prayer for Amelia Boynton Robinson’s family and friends during this difficult time.

U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell (AL-07):

Today while we mourn the passing of Amelia Boynton Robinson, we must also celebrate the life and legacy of a real American treasure.  Mrs. Boynton Robinson personified the essence of an American hero through her courageous and passionate fight for the fundamental right to vote for every citizen in this nation. I will always cherish the time we spent together when she honored me as my special guest for the State of the Union on January 20, 2015. I am grateful for the memories of her greeting President Obama that night and I am so blessed to call her a beloved mentor and friend.

Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson will not only be remembered for her invaluable contributions as a matriarch of the voting rights movement but she was also the first black woman from the State of Alabama to run for Congress. Without her courageous campaign for the 7th Congressional District, I know that my election to this seat in 2010 would not have been possible. Her sacrifices paved the way for me to walk the halls of Congress and I will carry my love and admiration for her in my heart each and every day.

As she reminded us in life, there is still much work to be done for this nation to live up to its ideals of equality and justice for all.  Let us be inspired by the extraordinary life of Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson to keep striving and working towards a more perfect union. May we honor her by continuing her life’s work.


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