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As the present-day movement for racial equality is on the rise across America, The Black Women’s Roundtable and Truth Speaks Consulting hosted Jan. 13 a Twitter Town Hall (#sistersofselma) on the box office movie, Selma to discuss the role of women in social activism, particularly of those in the film.

The film featured prominent women, who worked in the trenches, strategized and led the way for thousands.  Selma made its debut on Jan 9 to rave reviews.

“I loved seeing the women being lifted in the film like Amelia Boynton,” said Melanie Campbell ‏(@coalitionbuildr).

For two decades, Boynton held black voter registration drives in Selma, Alabama. In 1964, she became the first African American woman and the first female Democratic candidate to run for a seat in Congress from Alabama, earning ten percent of the vote. She was instrumental in organizing the Selma to Montgomery March, which left her brutally wounded on that infamous Bloody Sunday.

“How did your grandmother Mrs. Amelia Boynton like seeing herself in the movie?” asked moderator LaTosha Brown (@MsLaToshaBrown) to Carver Boynton (@Carverboynton).   

“She enjoyed the movie, but her first comment was “where are the women? The women pushed the movement forward!” responded Boyton (@Carverboynton).

Personally, Boynton (@Carverboynton) shares a sentiment common throughout the discussion: “part of me was so excited to just see Boynton, Nash and Coretta S. King with voices and visible roles… ultimately, I really wish they did more speaking.”

For Dawne Shand (@dfshand) this was the movie’s weakness, “Women were treated as beautiful props,” she said. “The women offer moral courage and romantic love as support, but aren’t treated as leaders in their own right. Diane Nash’s breathless “Mr. Bevel” seemed gratuitous. I didn’t love the reduction of Nash’s role on the screen.”

Nash was a founding member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee in April 1960. A year later, she served jail time in solidarity with the “Rock Hill Nine” — nine students imprisoned after a lunch counter sit-in. Like, Boynton, Nash played a significant role in the Selma campaign for voting rights.

While the stories of these women may not have been accentuated in the film, their presence still serves as an inspiration. “Many will see, understand and be inspired by the courage, strategy and hopefulness of those that went to distance for change!” said Boynton (@Carverboynton).

Their legacies will live on and be embodied in future movements for racial equality and justice. The full chat can be viewed on Twitter: #sistersofselma.