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NuNu Deng's Fundraiser:

PRESERVING THE DREAM

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NuNu Deng via Crowdrise
September 21, 2012

October I will volunteer at the home of the eldest Civil Rights leader and the foundation, VILLAGE OF HOPE TUSKEGEE(a registered 501c3)  See more

BENEFITING:

EVENT DATE: Oct 01, 2012

NuNu Deng

THE STORY:

Amelia Boynton Robinson is one of the most important living figures in America. There is no exaggeration whatsoever in that statement. For example, the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which would not have been passed without her direct, and {primary}, efforts to bring that about, is arguably more important, than most legislation passed in the United States, certainly after the years of the 1960s, when it comes to civil and human rights in this country. Dr. Martin Luther King,who usually chose his battles in the South, did not choose Selma; Selma chose him. King was brought to Selma, Alabama by Amelia Boynton Robinson, who was acting to fulfill a promise she had made to her husband, Sam Boynton, on his deathbed, "to make sure that every Negro in Dallas County is registered to vote".

A crusade that she and her husband had persisted in, from 1928 until 1963, achieving little success, in the two years of 1963-1965 changed the entirety of the United States, after Sam Boynton's death. She, and posthumously, Sam, would have appropriately be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, but the recognition of King in 1964 for his work in the same cause had already focused the world on what needed to be done in America's South. Now, the world "little notes, nor long remembers" what she did there, not because she did not do what she indeed did, but because
like the escaped slave, Harriet Tubman, and like, in a different way, Amelia, who, though born in Savannah, Georgia, had spent several years in Philadelphia before returning to the South to work there, Patrick decided, after several years of study, to return to the place in which he had been enslaved, and make it the center of his life's work. That is whatAmelia Boynton Robinson has done for {literally 90 years}. She began by campaigning for the right to vote with her mother in 1921, at the age of ten, visiting, not by car, but by horse and cart, the still-existent old plantations of Alabama.

St. Patrick's life work centered around education, as has Amelia's. He is said to have died on March 17, 461, and, depending on the account, at the age of 74, 100, or 106. (For the purpose of our quasi-apocryphal analogy, we will select the highest age, since some of us believe that 106 may actually be Amelia's age, since that's what it says on her birth certificate--August 18, 1905. Amelia claims that this is actually a mistake, and that her and her sister's birth certificates were switched, so her actual date of birth is August 18, 1911.)

Amelia performed a miracle in the South, of the same caliber that Patrick is reputed to have performed in Ireland. She drove the snakes, not out of Ireland, but out of the police forces, and courts, and state houses, and governors' mansions, Congressional and Senate offices, and even {some} of the pulpits, of the segregationist South. It is worth noting here, that the very segregationist Governor George Wallace, who had stood in the doorway at the University of Alabama to prevent an African-American student from attending, shouting "segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!", "found religion", and in 1985 issued a proclamation, at Amelia's, and others' request, applauding the effort of Amelia's human rights organization, the Schiller Institute, to celebrate the first national Martin Luther King holiday with a 10,000 person demonstration on the Mall in Washington DC.

There's something about Amelia. That's why, at the age of 101, 106, or whatever she is, she shouldn't have to worry about things that the grateful world around her should have taken care of for her. She wants to continue to speak out, and write, and inspire people. Those of us that understand that a human being like this comes around rarely in a century, and even more rarely {survives} for a century or more, know instinctively that we are supposed to help, and to act.

The details are simple. Her only present health care need is a caretaker that is working for $350/wk--that's right, $50/day. That's $14,500 for the whole year. She wants her autobiography, {Bridge Across Jordan}, reprinted as a regular book, and made available, as well, to the online book generation, through various media, including as an audiobook. She wants her home in Tuskegee to be used as a headquarters for a continued focus on, not merely the struggle for voting and civil rights, but the commitment to science and technology that was the mission of her alma mater, Booker T. Washington's Tuskegee Institute (now Tuskegee University). That's a task, that we hope is a bit farther down the road, since we hope that she is still here working, for as long as she can.

Amelia just spoke at the 2012 47th anniversary commemorative march, reenacting the 1965 Selma to Montgomery march that resulted in the passage of the Voting Rights Act, the most important piece of 1960s civil rights legislation, and the most important legislation of its type since the 1861-1865 American Civil War. She was the pioneer that made that legislation possible. Her message is that "a voteless people os a hopeless people". Her life, is a message that citizenship is a mission, not an imposition.

So why the hell don't we just find a way to help this woman, simply because it's the right thing to do?

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  • Dr. Lual and Margaret Deng

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Dr. Lual and Margaret Deng

Dr. Lual and Margaret Deng

DONATION: $1,400

5 years ago