Schiller Institute on YouTube Schiller Institute on Facebook RSS

Home >

Amelia Boynton Robinson In Lyons, France

by the LaRouche Youth Movement in France

October 2007

Bridge Across Jordan book cover

When a local elected official from the city of Venissieux heard that Mrs. Amelia Boynton Robinson was coming to France, he immediately called in to arrange a special visit for her, and on Friday, October 12, 2007, this important representative of the Schiller Institute, whose autobiography was just published in France, made a short two day visit to Lyons. Her intervention was very effective, with activities that included public and private meetings and a presentation and dialogue at a High School class.

Mrs. Robinson, now age 96, is one of the very few Americans still alive, who can speak of the American Civil Rights Movement, “from the inside.” Mrs. Robinson, currently the Vice Chairwoman of the international Schiller Institute, was actively fighting for the Right to Vote for Blacks in the South almost 30 years before Martin Luther King came to Alabama in the 1960s. When he arrived there to lead that fight, Dr. King, then a young minister, stayed at the Boynton home in Selma.

Amelia Boynton Robinson is still, today, an outspoken fighter for the human rights for all people, almost 40 years after Dr. King’s death.

Amelia B. Robinson
Amelia Boynton Robinson with Helga Zepp-LaRouche and Jacques Cheminade at the Schiller Institute Landbridge Conference, September 15-16, 2007.

She was in Europe on the occasion of the historic conference in Kiedrich, Germany, on the Eurasian Landbridge, where she gave a presentation on a panel with the leader of the French LaRouche movement, Jacques Cheminade. Her visit to France came on the heels of a beautiful tour in Northern Europe, where she profoundly impacted people in both Denmark and Sweden. Mrs. Robinson will be a special guest speaker at the party conference of Solidarité et Progrès in Paris, and this will be followed by more events in Germany.

In Venissieux, Amelia Boynton Robinson made an intervention in a high school class of 25 young adults, 15 teachers, some administrative people and 2 reporters from local newspaper. She developed for them the dramatic history of “Bloody Sunday” where, in 1965, the attempt by Blacks to march over Alabama’s Edmund Pettus Bridge was violently assaulted, with Amelia Boynton herself beaten and left for dead. Mrs. Robinson described how the violence against the blacks at that time wasn’t different from what is happening today to the civilians in Iraq.

She then showed how the actual economic situation of the USA may create a dark age - a disastrous jump taking humanity back five million years in human history. Addressing especially the young people in the audience, she said “You are the next leading people of this nation; you have to take this responsibility.” Most of the questions came from teachers and adults, which was unfortunate, because as a result there were fewer questions coming from the youth themselves. Of the two questions asked by youth, one was, “What happened for the battle after Luther King’s death?” Mrs. Robinson answered this, and brought it back to the battle we are in today, and discussed the movement and the leadership of Lyndon LaRouche. This also generated questions after the event to Bertrand, the LYM organizer travelling with and translating for Mrs. Robinson, about his own political engagement.

Mrs. Robinson, seeing that the classroom was composed mostly of women, enjoyed playing with that fact, when she explained that before the Voting Rights Act of 1965, to be allowed to vote in the South, every black citizen needed two white men to support him. It had to be “men” she said, and “not women, because they already understood that women have a soul,” provoking a hearty laugh from everyone there.

Before this high school event, our guest speaker met with an elected official who had invited her to his home, where they had a very fruitful discussion. She elaborated that the situation of how the youth of today have many models of “success,” but all of them are representatives of the easy life, money, and glory, but none about being a beautiful soul. “We can succeed in everything when we have faith.” That idea carried forth into the High School discussions, with her clear aim being to give to those youth another view of “being successful”, and being a great citizen of our nation.

Love versus hate

Amelia Boynton Robinson in Venissieux, with Eléazar Bafounta and Colette Ilunga of the Café Noir Association
Amelia Boynton Robinson in Venissieux, with Eléazar Bafounta and Colette Ilunga of the Café Noir Association.

The public meeting in the evening was excellent, with a good audience of 60 people, all of whom attended on very short notice. After a short introduction by a LaRouche Youth Movement organizer, followed by a woman from a Black association, Amelia Robinson gave a wonderful presentation, speaking for more than 2 hours. It was very powerful because as soon as she stopped for some questions, all the fundamental subjects were touched upon.

Her speech concentrated and focused on the question of love and hate. She explained the very personal experience when her husband, Bill Boynton, confronted her one day as she was saying “I hate the Whites. I hate all of them!” Her husband asked her to look in the mirror, and asked if she could see her face in the mirror, which was right in front of her. She looked, and, as she told the audience, she couldn’t see anything except hate. “Hate is a killer, when you hate, you are killing yourself.” She emphasized this point throughout the evening.

Many questions asked were on that exact subject, from people saying that of course “love” is the basis for all, BUT in the “real world it’s not like that.” When asked, ”Why do you think we should love some people who are just oppressing us for centuries?” this wise nonagenarian just answered, “Why should you hate them?”

At one point a question was directed to Bertrand about his affiliation in the political fight, which put the issue of our political party, Solidarité et Progrès right on the table. This issue of political leadership continued with the next question to Amelia, asking if she knew some political leader able to do something right now.

Amelia Robinson explained to the audience the history of how she met the Schiller Institute and Lyndon LaRouche the first time, and described the slanders she had to fight through, which, of course, she had recognized earlier as a trick to scare people away, as was done when Dr. King had been slandered in the early 1960s bv everyone. She described the more than 2 decade long collaboration with the LaRouches ever since that time.

Questions and dialogue continued into the evening, as she engaged in more dialogue with the participants, who were very happy to get their new books signed by the author. Bridge Across Jordan, by Amelia Boynton Robinson, was just released in the French edition this month.

Related pages:

Amelia Boynton Robinson in Paris

Amelia Boynton Robinson à Venissieux, France (in French)

Amelia Boynton Robinson's Speech to the Schiller Institute Landbridge Conference

Amelia Robinson Takes Denmark by Storm

Amelia Boynton Robinson Organizes the Swedish Nation and Youth

Her Love of Freedom is a “Higher Power”

Amelia Boynton Robinson's Continuing Leadership

Biography of Amelia Boynton Robinson

Amelia Boynton Robinson Book Excerpt

Spider Martin's Photo Gallery of the Selma to Montgomery, Alabama March

Amelia Robinson on Jim Clark Funeral

Bloody Sunday March Reenactment

Flyer for Amelia Boynton Robinson's Meeting in Boston, February 2007 (PDF)

Amelia Robinson Honored in Italy

Amelia Boynton Robinson Honored in Alabama

Through The Years- January, 1995

August 27, 1993 Celebration of Inalienable Rights of Man