At 101-Years-Old Amelia Boynton Robinson Marches For Voting Rights, Again
In honor of International Women’s Day, we would like to highlight a very special woman who has been marching with us for the last few days.
In fact, we were blessed with the presence of a National Civil Rights treasure, Ms. Amelia Boynton Robinson.
At 101 years young, she spoke eloquently to all the marchers today, in front of Selma’s Southside High school. This was the midpoint of the day’s march but a true highlight for all of us.
Mother Robinson, as she is affectionately known as, is one of the Courageous Eight who inspired and ignited the Selma to Montgomery Marches that started in 1965.
“All the marchers today” is a reference to this:
Hundreds of people from across the country marched toward the state capital Thursday, chanting in English and Spanish to make the case that the battle against Alabama’s immigration law is an extension of the civil rights fight they commemorated.
Gloria Mills of Detroit said civil rights gains in the 1950s and ’60s were “hardfought,” but Alabama’s House Bill 56 and voter identification laws being implemented across the nation are chipping away at those rights. While not an immigrant herself, Mills stood in solidarity with those who came to the country illegally and are now under fire in Alabama.
Which harkens back to this:
On March 7, 1963, civil rights activists were brutally beaten by police in Selma, Alabama, during the infamous “Bloody Sunday” march, for advocating for the right to vote. This week, forty-seven years later, today’s civil rights leaders retraced the march from Selma to Montgomery, protesting what NAACP President Ben Jealous calls “the greatest attack on voting rights since segregation.”
Since the 2010 election, Republicans have waged an unprecedented war on voting, with the unspoken but unmistakable goal of preventing millions of mostly Democratic voters, including students, minorities, immigrants, ex-convicts and the elderly, from casting ballots in 2012. More than a dozen states, from Texas to Wisconsin and Florida, have passed laws designed to impede voters at every step of the electoral process, whether by requiring birth certificates to register to vote, restricting voter registration drives, curtailing early voting, requiring government-issued IDs to cast a ballot, or disenfranchising ex-felons.
Bravo to Amelia Boynton Robinson who, at 101 still has the gumption and the will to march for voting rights but oh my God I can only imagine what she’s thinking. Are we doing this again? Really? I thought that issue was settled and behind us. But no. Thanks to the Republicans, 60 years on, here we are, fighting for voting rights, again.