Augusta woman owns original program from Dr. King's speech 50 years ago

By: Jorge Lopez Email
By: Jorge Lopez Email

News 12 6PM/ Saturday August 24, 2013

Augusta, GA (WRDW)---Barbara Pulliam couldn't make it to Washington this weekend, but that doesn't mean she isn't thinking about it.

"Well it caused a lot of reflection and I thought about the time my brother went and he was just 12 years old," she told News12.

For the last 50 year's she kept the original program her brother brought back.

"I don't think any of us at that time was aware how historical that moment was really going to be," said Pulliam.

To her surprise one person did-- her younger brother Robbie Robinson. Pulliam says a seed was planted that day and it bloomed when he told their mother who would teach him his senior year

"It was some name I can't remember but it sounds something like.... Mrs. Malinosky or something like that and she said, "Is she teaching at Beech? I've never heard that name before." and without looking up he said, "Oh no. She's at Savannah High," and my mom said " Savannah High?" and he said, "Oh yea, I registered at Savannah High today," said Pulliam.

Robinson was part of the Savannah 19--which was the first group of black students to integrate white schools. Even though many mistreated Robinson-- one teacher didn't; she encouraged him to keep on and that's one of the reasons Pulliam, believes her brother accomplished so much.

"He became a lawyer. He went to the University of Georgia," she said proudly.

Robinson had his own law firm and was even elected as a commissioner in his hometown of Savannah before being killed by a mail bomb in 1989. Just as her brother did Pulliam eventually got into politics and now sits on the Board of Education for Richmond County. And despite all the progress Pulliam says there's still work to do because she see it every time the board meets.

"We make everything black and white. We don't think about right and wrong; it's black or white and we need to get past that," she said.

Robbie Robinson was killed after a mail bomb blasted through his law firm in the 80's. Walter Leroy Moody Jr. was the man responsible. He picked Robinson's name from a list of lawyers who represented the NAACP.

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