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Civil Rights Icon Amelia Boynton Robinson dies at 104

Amelia Boynton Robinson, a civil rights activist who almost died helping to lead the Bloody Sunday march in 1965, died early Wednesday at age 104.

In 1965, Amelia Boynton Robinson convinced Martin Luther King to march with her on Selma's bridge to fight for voting rights and forever changed the face of America. Determined to keep on fighting until the end, her last two public appearances were at Cinema for Peace in Los Angeles and at the commemoration of the 1965 March with President Obama at the Edmund Pettus Bridge.

At Cinema for Peace, Amelia said that she was advised against making the trip to Los Angeles due to her age: "But I was determined to come to Los Angeles. As long as I am breathing, I will be sharing our story."

Amelia began her career in Georgia as an educator and then moved to Alabama in the 30’s with her husband Samuel Boynton. Hand in hand, they started fighting for voting rights in the most destitute parts of the state, which in the 60’s led them to focus on Selma and bring their support to the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. This is when she relentlessly exhorted Martin Luther King to come to Alabama and march from Selma to Montgomery, the state capital. After she contacted him three times, MLK finally agreed. Amelia hosted him at her home before the march, which set off from her office.

One of her last public appearances was at the Cinema for Peace "Real Life Heroes" Award in Los Angeles in February this year. Cinema for Peace congratulated Amelia Boynton Robinson with a special award for her lifetime achievements presented by Kweku Mandela. That day, Amelia taught us a lesson that should be shared with every generation: "There is no room for hate in a heart. There should only be room for love and for forgiveness."

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