Bruce Carver Boynton, a pioneer of Alabama’s civil rights who influenced the 1961 landmark Freedom Riders, died on Monday. He was 83 years old.
Boynton’s friend, former Alabama Senator Hank Sanders, confirmed his death on Tuesday.
Boynton was arrested 60 years ago for entering the white part of a racist bus stop in Virginia and finally launching a chain reaction that helped bring about the abolition of the Jim Crow Law in the South. Boynton disputed his conviction, and his appeal banned the separation of bus stops and resulted in a US Supreme Court ruling that helped stimulate “Freedom Riders.”
Despite his central role, Boynton was not as well known as other civil rights figures. However, both his mother and father were early civil rights activists. His mother, Amelia Boynton Robinson, was savagely beaten in 1965 when proving her right to vote and was paid homage to then-President Barack Obama 50 years later.
“He did something that few people had the courage to do. Judge Myron Thompson of the US District Court spoke of Boynton in 2018.” To me, he’s the equivalent of Rosa Parks. “A black woman who refused to give up a bus seat to a white man.
Boynton described his arrest in a 2018 interview with The Associated Press.
Boynton attended Howard University Law School in Washington, DC when he boarded the bus to Alabama in 1958. Despite federal law prohibiting separation on interstate highways, public facilities such as bus stops were then separated by races across the South.
The bus was pulled to a station in Richmond, Virginia for a break, and Boynton went in and ate. Seeing some of the black restaurants with water on the floor and looking “very unsanitary,” Boynton said he sat in a “clinically clean” white area. He told the waitress to drink cheeseburger and tea.
“She left and came back with the manager. The manager thrust his finger into my face and said,” … move. ” Using a racial slur, Boynton recalled in an interview. “And I knew it wouldn’t work, and I rejected it, and that was the case.”
Boynton, convicted of trespassing, appealed and his case was brought to the Supreme Court. His adviser was Thurgood Marshall, a civil rights attorney on behalf of the United States at the time and later the first judge of the Black Supreme Court.
Boynton disputed his conviction, and the Supreme Court said in 1960 that a federal ban on racial discrimination on interstate buses would apply to bus stops and other facilities related to interstate travel. Arbitrated. The following year, dozens of black and white students traveled the South on a bus to test whether the case’s ruling, Bruce Boynton vs. Virginia, was being protected.
“Freedom Riders” were arrested or attacked in Alabama, Mississippi, and South Carolina, and their buses were burned. President John F. Kennedy at the time ordered stricter enforcement of federal anti-discrimination legislation.
“He was a pioneer,” Sanders said. “All Freedom Riders came from this particular action.”
Boynton paid a price for what he did and was initially unable to obtain a legal license in Alabama, Sanders said. He spent most of his career as a civil rights attorney before retiring.
In 2018, Thompson said Boynton’s life was “an educational lesson for all of us about how we can make a difference.”
“All he wanted was a cheeseburger, and he changed the course of history.”
Bruce Boynton, the man who influenced Freedom Riders in 1961, died at the age of 83
Source link Bruce Boynton, the man who influenced Freedom Riders in 1961, died at the age of 83