Photo: AP Photo/Jay Reeves
  /  11.25.2020


The civil rights pioneer who helped inspire the 1961 Freedom Rides passed away on Monday morning (Nov. 23) following a battle with cancer. Bruce Carver Boynton was 83 years old.

“There is a sadness. His was a tremendous life well lived. We’re happy he’s no longer in pain but I’m also amazed at his fight and his strength and that he continued to fight and write even after the initial diagnosis of cancer,” his daughter Carver Boynton told the Alabama Local News. “From being a student in law school until his passing, he really dedicated his life to civil rights and defending the rights of others.”

Boynton reportedly died in a Montgomery hospital, hours before a courthouse was renamed after him and fellow activist J.L. Chestnut.

Boynton — born on June 19, 1937, in Selma, Alabama — was born into a family of civil rights activists and later became one himself. In 1958, while he was a law student at Howard University, he moved from the unsanitary Black section of a Virginia bus station restaurant to the clean white-only section, and was arrested and convicted of trespassing because of his refusal to leave. He appealed the decision and was represented by Thurgood Marshall in a case that ended with the Supreme Court declaring the Virginia facility was not exempt from federal anti-discrimination laws.

The controversy following the activist’s arrest prevented him from practicing law in Alabama, so he moved to Tennessee where he practiced for six years until the bar in his home state admitted him.

Boynton’s lawsuit inspired the 1961 Freedom Rides, political protests by African Americans who boarded interstate buses to challenge segregration and ensure riders complied with the anti-discrimination laws, which were strictly enforced at a later time.

He is survived by his wife Betty and two daughters. His funeral has not yet been arranged.

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

View More

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

View More

Trending

Kadeem Hardison and Jasmine Guy talk about "A Different World" wedding

Jasmine Guy and Kadeem Hardison discussed the 30th anniversary of their “A Different World” wedding ...
  /  09.21.2022

Neighbor shoots mother of 9 after she asks him to stop target practice

After asking Nicholas Lucas to stop target shooting in his backyard, Kesha Tate was shot ...
  /  09.20.2022

REC Founders Will Toms and Dave Silver want to empower creators to have successful businesses

REC was founded in 2015 by Forbes 30 Under 30 recipients Will Toms and Dave ...
  /  09.16.2022

Quinta Brunson and Black women making Emmys history, and Halle Bailey's 'The Little Mermaid' trailer

On the entertainment side, Zendaya, Quinta Brunson, Issa Rae and Lizzo all made history at ...
  /  09.16.2022
View More