See Why the Black Church MUST Stay Attuned to Politics

How Voter Suppression Laws
Are Restricting the Vote in
Communities of Color




The U.S. Supreme Court’s opinion in the Alabama redistricting case supports the argument that the North Carolina State Conference of Branches of the NAACP has been making against North Carolina’s racially gerrymandered districts since they were first proposed in 2011. The Court held that packing black voters to meet a specific racial quota is constitutionally suspect, as was done in Alabama and in North Carolina. The Court remanded the case to the lower court for application of strict scrutiny. “The principles of law announced by the Court yesterday apply with equal force to North Carolina, mandating a reversal of the redistricting plans adopted here,” said Reverend Dr. William J. Barber, II.

When the North Carolina redistricting proposal was introduced and enacted, the NC NAACP, through its lawyers and partners, provided legislators with legal opinions which track yesterday’s Supreme Court decision. “As a result, they knew or should have known that their redistricting proposal violated the Voting Rights Act and the federal constitution,” said Irving Joyner, NC NAACP Legal Redress Chair and Professor at NCCU School of Law. “Despite this information, these legislators chose to ignore the law, as it existed at that point, for the sole purpose of undermining the political voice of African-Americans and other racial minorities.

Their redistricting plans, which involved the State Senate, House of Representatives, and Congress, were a part of the same national political agenda and strategy which extremist legislators have sought to impose in other States as occurred in North Carolina and Alabama. The imposition of this extremist agenda has resulted in the illegal elections of legislative officials who have eagerly sought to impose other extremists political policies upon North Carolina citizens. The NC NAACP will continue to fight against these actions in the courts, the legislative parlors and in the streets.”

Rev. Dr. Barber also explained that “this opinion in the Alabama case is a vindication for all of us who have been saying for a long time that divisive racial gerrymandering, which seeks to isolate black voters and destroy effective cross-racial coalitions, is unconstitutional.”

Even the dissenting Justices acknowledged in the opinion that “[r]acial gerrymandering strikes at the heart of our democratic process, undermining the electorate’s confidence in its government as representative of a cohesive body politic in which all citizens are equal before the law.”  Indeed, not a single Justice endorsed what the State of Alabama did in this case.

The Supreme Court also held that splitting precincts and dividing communities of interest are indicators that race predominated in the redistricting process.  The unjust North Carolina redistricting plans in place now divide more precincts than any plans in the state’s history.

The North Carolina NAACP’s petition for certiorari seeking review of the North Carolina redistricting plans is captioned Dickson v. Rucho, Case No. 14-839, and is scheduled to be conferenced by the Court on April 17, 2015.

Amelia Boynton – Biography – Educator, Civil Rights Activist –

Amelia Boynton Biography

Educator, Civil Rights Activist (1911–)
Civil rights activist Amelia Boynton helped Martin Luther King Jr. plan the Selma to Montgomery March on Bloody Sunday, which led to the Voting Rights Act of 1965.


Amelia Boynton was born on August 18, 1911, in Savannah, Georgia. Her early activism included holding black voter registration drives in Selma, Alabama, from the 1930s through the ’50s. In 1964, she became both the first African-American woman and the first female Democratic candidate to run for a seat in Congress from Alabama. That same year, she marched on Bloody Sunday. In 1990, Boynton won the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Freedom. Today, she tours on behalf of the Schiller Institute.


Civil rights activist Amelia Boynton was born Amelia Platts on August 18, 1911, to George and Anna Platts of Savannah, Georgia. Both of her parents were of African-American, Cherokee Indian and German descent. Church was central to Boynton’s and her nine siblings’ upbringing.

Boynton spent her first two years of college at Georgia State College (now Savannah State University), then transferred to the Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University) in Alabama. She graduated from Tuskegee with a home economics degree before further pursuing her education at Tennessee State University, Virginia State University and Temple University.

After working as a teacher in Georgia, Boynton took a job as Dallas County’s home demonstration agent with the U.S. Department of Agriculture in Selma, Alabama.

Early Activism

In 1930, she met her co-worker, Dallas County extension agent Samuel Boynton. The two had in common their impassioned desire to better the lives of African-American members of their community, particularly sharecroppers. The couple married in 1936 and went on to have two sons, Bill Jr. and Bruce Carver. Over the next three decades, Amelia and Samuel collectively worked toward achieving voting, property and education rights for the poor African Americans of Alabama’s farm country.

Boynton’s early activism included co-founding the Dallas County Voters League in 1933, and holding African-American voter registration drives in Selma from the 1930s through the ’50s. Even Samuel’s death in 1963 did not deter Amelia’s commitment to improving the lives of African Americans.

Civil Rights Movement

In 1964, as the Civil Rights Movement was picking up speed, Amelia Boynton ran on the Democratic ticket for a seat in Congress from Alabama—becoming the first African-American woman to do so, as well as the first woman to run as a Democratic candidate for Congress in Alabama. Although she didn’t win her seat, Boynton earned 10 percent of vote.

Also in 1964, Boynton and fellow civil rights activist Martin Luther King Jr. teamed up toward their common goals. At the time, Boynton figured largely as an activist in Selma. Still dedicated to securing suffrage for African Americans, she asked Dr. King and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to come to Selma and help promote the cause. King eagerly accepted. Soon after, he and the SCLC set up their headquarters at Boynton’s Selma home. There, they planned the Selma to Montgomery March of March 7, 1965.

Some 600 protesters arrived to participate in the event, which would come to be known as “Bloody Sunday.” On the Edmund Pettus Bridge, over the Alabama River in Selma, marchers were attacked by policemen with tear gas and billy clubs. Seventeen protesters were sent to the hospital, including Boynton, who had been beaten unconscious. A newspaper photo of Boynton lying bloody and beaten drew national attention to the cause. Bloody Sunday prompted President Lyndon B. Johnson to sign the Voting Rights Act on August 6, 1965, with Boynton attending as the landmark event’s guest of honor.

Boynton remarried in 1969, to a musician named Bob W. Billups. He died unexpectedly in a boating accident in 1973.

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Boynton eventually married a third time, to former Tuskegee classmate James Robinson, and moved back to Tuskegee after the wedding. When Robinson died in 1988, Boynton stayed in Tuskegee. Serving as vice chair of theSchiller Institute, she has since remained active in promoting civil and human rights.

In 1990, Boynton was awarded the Martin Luther King Jr. Medal of Freedom.

Today, Boynton continues to tour the United States on behalf of the Schiller Institute, which describes its mission as “working around the world to defend the rights of all humanity to progress—material, moral and intellectual.”

Related Videos

Bloody Sunday
Bloody Sunday(TV-14; 04:04)

March from Selma to Montgomery
March from Selma to Montgomery(TV-14; 04:11)

Amelia Boynton – Biography – Educator, Civil Rights Activist –

Empowerment – National Urban League

  • 10-Point Justice Plan: National Urban League Police Reform and Accountability Recommendations
    10-Point Justice Plan: National Urban League Police Reform and Accountability Recommendations

1 of 4

I pledge to responsibly commit my time and talent to ensure that the nation is empowered to achieve the following goals by 2025:
“Every American has access to jobs with a living wage and good benefits”
“Every American has access to quality and affordable health care solutions.”
“Every American lives in safe, decent, affordable and energy efficient housing on fair terms”


As a leader on my campus, I have had the opportunity to work with the BEEP Program in 2012 and in 2013 at Hampton University. Interacting with several BEEPers has inspired and influenced me to become…

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Be Encouraged America: Timeless Wisdom of Rev. Joseph Lowery: How to be “Good Crazy” for Change

“People in this country say certain things can’t happen…you can’t tell what will happen when you have some good crazy folks going (forward for justice and) to the polls to vote.   When enough good crazy people get together…anything is possible…” Rev. Dr. Joseph E. Lowery

Be encouraged and continue to fight the GOOD fight.


By M. Kita Williams –

On Mondaay, October 6th, 16 states which will help determine the outcome of our nation’s Congressional seats on election day November 4th ,  will finalize acceptance of voter registration applications either by mail, fax, in person, or  online.

ARIZONA                  10/06/14
ARKANSAS               10/06/14
FLORIDA                   10/06/14
GEORGIA                  10/06/14
HAWAII                     10/06/14
IDAHO                        10/10/14
INDIANA                   10/06/14
KENTUCKY               10/06/14
LOUISIANA              10/06/14
MICHIGAN                10/06/14
MONTANA                 10/06/14
PENNSYLVANIA    10/06/14
TENNESSEE               10/06/14
TEXAS                         10/06/14
UTAH                          10/06/14
WASHINGTON         10/06/14

The listing of states shown above offer links to each state’s respective rules to register according to the Democratic National Committee’s voter registration information site,


For example, in Arizona  voter registration forms must be delivered either in person to local election officials (see details) , or by mail postmarked no later than 10/6/14, or  submitted online by MONDAY, OCTOBER 6TH.  

However in Florida, ONLINE voter registration applications are NOT accepted.  Voter registration forms must be “postmarked or hand-delivered to your local Supervisor of Elections no later than October 6, 2014 (29 days before Election Day)”.  (see details)

Many states do offer early voting options and polling locations to registered voters.  It is recommended that voters take full advantage of these opportunities to vote early – if offered in your state.