Amelia Robinson will, when the true history of this country is written, be recognized as one of the most important figures of twentieth-century America. From the beginning of her career as a college student working as part of the Tuskegee Institute Extension Service begun by Booker T. Washington, to her leadership of the Schiller Institute, Mrs. Robinson has been a singular influence on American life. She caused, for example, the entire American Civil Rights Movement, and eventually the world, to focus on Selma, Alabama in 1965, when the successful battle for the right of African-Americans to vote was waged, resulting in Lyndon Johnson's championing, and the U. S. Congress' passage, of the Voting Rights Act.
Although Selma had been declared "off limits" as an organizing district by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference earlier, Amelia Robinson, with her husband, S. William Boynton, had labored for the right to vote in that area for over thirty years prior to the campaign of 1964. Upon this base, James Bevel, Bernard Lafayette, Hosea Williams and others built that campaign, which became the "Gettysburg" of the movement. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s attention had been successfully drawn to the Selma situation by a personal plea from Mrs. Robinson, and the SCLC used her office and her home as "movement headquarters."
In March 1965, Mrs. Robinson was in the forefront of the march from Selma to Montgomery, known later as "Bloody Sunday," where she was brutally beaten and gassed, and left unconscious on the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
Today, she continues the fight against tyranny internationally, as the Vice Chairman of the Board of the Schiller Institute. She is also on the Board of the Martin Luther King Center for Non-Violent Social Change, and was the 1990 recipient of the Martin Luther King Freedom Medal.