2011-02-16 / Front Page

Mrs. Amelia Platts Boynton Returns Home to Savannah


Amelia Platts Boynton Amelia Platts Boynton Mrs. Amelia Platts Boynton now 99 years old and one of Savannah's greatest civil rights heroes will return to her hometown February 17 - 20 with a full schedule of activities.

The Ralph Mark Gilbert "Georgia's Official Civil Rights Museum in conjunction with St. Phillip Monumental AME Church, and Gateway Educational Foundation will bring Mrs. Boynton to talk with students at Johnson, Beach and Savannah State University next Thursday and Friday.

Friday afternoon the Country Inn & Suites 320 Montgomery near Liberty Street will name one of their suites "The Amelia Boynton Room" according to Mrs. Kai Williams the Director of Sales of the popular hotel. During the dedication program a special portrait created by renowned Atlanta artist Gilbert Young will be unveiled and donated to the Country Inn & Suites. Mr. Young's art work was endorsed by President Obama.

The rest of Mrs. Boynton's stay in Savannah will be associated with the Sixth Episcopal District Founder’s Day Observance, Bishop William Phillips Deveaux, Saint Philip Monumental African Methodist Episcopal Church Host Church, The Reverend George Moore, Jr., Host Pastor, The Reverend J. E. Taylor, Host Presiding Elder, 1112 Jefferson Street.

Amelia Boynton became involved as a young woman in campaigning for women's suffrage.

In 1934 she registered to vote, a privilege which later became a right. A few years later she wrote a play, Through the Years, which told the story of creation of Spiritual music, in order to help fund a community center in Selma, Alabama.

Bontyon was a part of the "Selma to Montgomery marches". One of them, held March 7, 1965, became known as “Bloody Sunday”.

She ended up gassed, beaten, and left for dead by Alabama State Troopers. The photograph of the injured Amelia, which was seen on the news throughout the world, helped to gain support for the civil rights movement.

The horror of that event helped lead to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965. She was a guest of honor when President Lyndon Johnson signed the Voting Rights Act into law.

Boynton ran for the Congress from Alabama in 1964, the first female African-American ever to do so and the first female of any race to run for the ticket of the Democratic Party in Alabama. She received 10% of the vote. Robinson was awarded the Martin Luther King, Jr., Foundation Medal of Freedom on July 21, 1990, by the New York State Martin Luther King, Jr. Foundation.

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