SELMA, AL (WSFA) - Amelia Boynton Robinson requested a lot of music and very little talking during her funeral services. It was spirituals, according to family and close friends, that provided Robinson comfort during the tumultuous days of the civil rights movement.
For about 20 minutes Tuesday afternoon, under a blazing sun in Selma, the city closed off the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge and allowed family and long time friends to walk across and carry Mrs. Robinson's ashes. It was a homecoming of sorts.
Many say Robinson was the matriarch of the civil rights movement, starting her work for equality in the 1930's.
Robinson was knocked unconscious on what became known as Bloody Sunday in March of 1965, the day authorities beat civil rights marchers, attacked them with their dogs and smothered them with their tear gas. It's one reason why Irma Alexander of Meridian, Mississippi, interrupted her tour of Selma to be part of the farewell.
"I wanted to connect with the past and transition to the future, and the only way I could do this is to go back and start when things began," said Alexander.
Robinson died late last month after suffering a series of strokes.
Under the very bridge where Robinson and scores of others were injured, family and friends poured her ashes into the Alabama River.
After living a life that spanned over 100 years, Amelia Boynton Robinson was home and free at last.
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