Amelia Boynton-Write That I…

Steven Alavarez, poet

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In Ms. Rucker’s Intro to the Civil Rights Movement class, students memorialized the legacies of historical actors from the Black Freedom Struggle by using the poetic prompt, “Write that I…” See other poems in the “Student Work” section of the Lion’s Roar.

Write that I was born in Savanna, Georgia on August 18, 1911. Grew up with 10 siblings.

Write that I got the opportunity to go to Georgia State then to Tuskegee Institute

That was alright for me.

Tell them, I did not want to study just Home Economics, tell them I went to get that education degree through 3 different states.

Tell them that I began teaching in Savannah, Georgia then to becoming Dallas County home demonstration in Selma, Alabama.

Little did I know that next to me was a person who wanted to better the lives of the African Americans in our community. S.W Boynton would be along my side for my journey into activism for Civil rights.

Tell them that my son Bruce would follow our steps to fight against injustices for a the broader African American community.

Later our efforts caught the attention of SNCC’s Bernard Lafayette and his wife Colia Liddell. I offered to give the office space for a SNCC . But Lafayette suggested to continue with our own work. There we formed the Dallas County Voters League.

When you write my story, say that we were “knocking on doors and ringing doorbells, giving women the proper information, taking them to the registration board and/or taking them to the polls to cast their votes.” all along S.W side literally until his death. This would also mark our very first mass meeting in Selma.

Tell them that In 1964, I became the first African American woman in the state of Alabama to run for Congress, challenging a white incumbent the Alabama Fourth District seat.

Tell them “A voteless people is a hopeless people.”

When you right my story, say that I walked the front lines with Dr.King on March 7, 1965.

Tell them I got Beat that day and 50 years later I would cross that bridge again with Obama and get recognized in the 2015 state of the union.  

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Amelia Boynton-Write That I…