Born in Savannah, Georgia, young Amelia at age 9-10 was passing out voter
registration forms with her mother on horse and buggy and a member of the
NAACP at 10 years old. The seed planted and sown to the fruit that is today
Voting and Civil Rights.
Boynton Robinson, who was conferred the Doctor of Laws Degree in 1996 at the
National Conference of Black Lawyers by the Community College of Law and
International Diplomacy in Chicago, Illinois, began her involvement with voter
registration in 1920, when she assisted her mother in circulating voter
registration and voting information. She enrolled at Tuskegee Institute at age 14, and is the University’s oldest living alumnae. Boynton Robinson met the love of her
life, Mr. S.W. Boynton, at Tuskegee Institute. After graduating in 1927, under the
leadership of Tuskegee’s second president, Dr. Robert Russa Moton, she taught
public school in Americus, Georgia. After a short teaching career, Boynton
Robinson accepted a position through Tuskegee Institute as a home demonstration
agent with the United States Department of Agriculture and was assigned to
Selma, Dallas County, Alabama in the 1929. She and Mr. Boynton reunited in
Selma and were married in 1936. They established, among other things, an
insurance agency, while endeavoring to revolutionize the political processes
in Dallas County through direct action and voter education.
After Mr. Boynton’s death in 1963, Mrs. Boynton offered their home as a safe
haven to Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and other civil rights warriors
during Selma’s civil rights movement in the 1960s. She was arrested by Sheriff Jim
Clark at the Dallas County Courthouse for no apparent reason, and was brutally
beaten by the Alabama State Troopers on March 7, 1965 (“Bloody Sunday”) as
Blacks attempted to cross the Edmund Pettus Bridge in a march to Montgomery,
Alabama. In 1976, Amelia returned to reside in Tuskegee with her husband, Mr.
James Robinson, who passed in 1988.
Boynton Robinson has served as a member of the Women’s International League
for Peace and Freedom and as vice-chairperson of the Schiller Institute. Through
both organizations, she has traveled the world, sharing the history of her
experiences. She has committed her life to public education—especially to
the world’s youth—about the value of voting and political empowerment.
In 2007, for her 96th Birthday Celebration, many accolades were showered upon Boynton
Robinson at her home prior to an escort by a convoy of law enforcement agencies to the
Celebration site. That escort was befitting a Head of State. Moreover, the
overall appearances, excellent service delivery and communications between law
enforcement officers and Boynton Robinson represented reconciliation in a manner that no one could have ever imagined in 1965. Regional, state and local law enforcement
agencies will also receive invitations to this year’s Celebration.