Freedom Fighters, At the intersection of Black History 365, Women's History Month, and the 58th Anniversary of Bloody Sunday I find myself inspired by the powerful legacy of the often underrepresented women of the civil rights movement. One such woman is Amelia Boynton Robinson. In 1964, she was the first black woman to seek a congressional seat in Alabama; running on the campaign, "A voteless people is a hopeless people."
To further help the people of Alabama secure the right to vote, Boynton Robinson was responsible for bringing civil rights leaders, like Dr. King and John Lewis, to Selma. She helped to plan the march across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and she too was beaten unconscious for participating on that Bloody Sunday in March 1965. Alongside Hosea Williams and John Lewis, and represented by the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, she filed a federal lawsuit to secure her right to march across the Bridge in protest. The sequence of events she actively participated in, gave rise to the passage of the Voting Rights Act later that year. Amelia Boynton Robinson, and other civil rights leaders, then stood watch as President Johnson signed the federal legislation prohibiting racial discrimination in voting. In honor of women such as Boynton Robinson, I encourage you all to take a few minutes to learn more about a few other Unsung Heroines of the Civil Rights Movement as well as a few of today's black female activists making history in their own right.
If you have a black woman on your team, you will win. But will she?
Victoria H. Weber
NAACP Des Moines Branch