Civil rights legend to reunite with man in iconic Bloody Sunday photo | Community Spirit
SELMA, AL (WSFA) - It's been 47 years since the Bloody Sunday March from Selma to Montgomery that tipped a balance in the American Civil Rights Movement. For years Amelia Boynton-Robinson couldn't identify the man seen holding her lifeless body in an iconic photograph of the event. Later this month, the two will reunite for the first time since that fateful day.
Known as the Matriarch of the Voting Rights Movement, 101-year-old Amelia Boynton-Robinson has been asked for nearly a half century about the man seen holding her limp body after coming to her aid at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge.
"I've always wished I could give a better answer when they ask, 'Who was he? Who is he?'" said Boynton.
Boynton-Robinson was one of approximately 600 protesters who attempted the Bloody Sunday March from Selma to the Alabama State Capitol in Montgomery on March 7, 1965. Protesters fighting for the right to vote were met at the end of the Edmund Pettus Bridge by local and state law enforcement officials who attacked them using billy clubs and tear gas in an attempt drive them back to Selma.
Images from that Sunday have served as a hallmark for the American Civil Rights Movement.
Through the photo, Boynton-Robinson, beaten and gassed, and the man cradling here were forever etched in history.
Shawn Eckles, who works for the Amelia Boynton-Robinson Foundation, knew of Boynton-Robinson's desire to identify the man. Eckles put a post on Facebook that Boynton-Robinson was looking to find him - and in a stroke of luck, or maybe it was fate, someone replied.
A woman named Cassandra Jones saw the photo and stepped forward. "That's my father Joe Jones...1965 in Selma, Alabama," the woman explained.
The foundation contacted Jones and was able to confirm his identity this week. Now Boynton-Robinson and Jones are set to meet for the first time since that historic day.
The foundation is calling the event the "Miracle Reunion." It is set for 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, September 22 at the National Voting Rights Museum & Institute in Selma - located in the same place the photograph was taken so many years ago.