The first of two final wishes of Amelia Boynton-Robinson was fulfilled yesterday in Selma, Alabama – where she and Samuel Boynton truly launched the Voting Rights Movement into being.
Mrs. Boynton-Robinson’s words were heard loud and clear during the memorial service which was held at Baptist Tabernacle Church in Selma on Saturday, September 5th. In a video played, accompanied by audio of Amelia Boynton-Robinson recorded during the last year of her life, Boynton-Robinson said that she wished to be cremated. She also stated that she would like her ashes to be interspersed in the waters of the Alabama River, directly along the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
In honor of the “Queen Mother of the Voting Rights Movement”, over a hundred foot-soldiers gathered first at Brown Chapel to march in true form.
The group included the Tuskegee University Choir, a 4-member libations ensemble which energized the entire city with traditional African drums and instruments. Also present were Rev. F. D. Reese, Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette along with Mrs. Kate LaFayette, The Honorable James Perkins, Jr. (Selma’s first Black mayor), the Honorable John Ford (Mayor of Tuskegee), and William T. Riley, III (Selma Chief of Police), One could easily point out original foot soldiers who marched 50 years ago. Many of them wore their distinctive commemorative medallions bestowed upon them on “Bloody Sunday” 2015. Others were equally as noticeable by their authentic marching gear: overalls, boots, and megaphones.
Once reaching the ascending foot of the bridge , the spot where President Obama spoke on March 7th of this year, another hundred or so followed suit to march the last mile for Amelia Boynton-Robinson.
After crossing the bridge to its’ descent at the park of Civil Rights Monuments, a program led by Faya Toure (Rose Sanders), Rev. Fred D. Taylor- SCLC Emeritus Director of Field Operations, Rev. Dr. Bernard LaFayette, Rev. F.D. Reese, Mayor Perkins, and Bruce Boynton followed.
Bruce Boynton performed his mother’s wish, scattering her ashes in the Alabama River directly along the shore of the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Forever in Selma’s midst, Amelia Boynton-Robinson will always remain.
Amelia Boynton-Robinson’s 2nd last wish? Take the name of Ku Klux Klan “Grand Dragon” Edmund Pettus OFF that bridge.
By: M. Kita Williams