Amelia Boynton

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“I was born to lead,” said Amelia Boynton. And lead she did! 52 years ago today (March 7, 2017), Amelia led hundreds across the Edmund Pettus Bridge and began the March from Selma to Montgomery. That day–Bloody Sunday–she was beaten by an officer and left for dead. Her life of voting rights activism began at age 9, when she went with her mother in a horse and buggy to deliver Women’s Suffrage leaflets. At 14, she went to college and studied under George Washington Carver. In 1964, she became the first African American woman to run for Congress in Alabama. She later worked for the US Dept of Agriculture teaching rural women about food preservation, nutrition, and healthcare. “I was taught to love people, to excuse their hate and realize that if they get the hate out of them, that they will be able to love,” Boynton said. She died in 2015, a few months after the 50th anniversary of the Selma March, at the age of 104.

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