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"Move On The System": Remembering Local Activist Betty Garman Robinson

Ryan Harvey (used with permission)

Betty Garman Robinson, a Baltimore community activist and a longtime advocate for racial justice, passed away yesterday.

Robinson was a white college student in upstate New York when she first saw news about southern sit-ins. The images of violence against protestors pushed her to join the civil rights movement.  

She worked for years with SNCC, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She described SNCC’s approach to community organizing at the 2010 Radical Bookfair Pavilion in Baltimore:


"Bringing people together, talking about what needs to be done, making it possible for people to find their voice, claim their space, and move on the system."


In 1972 she moved to Baltimore and was active in the city’s labor, housing, and racial justice movements. She served on the Civilian Review Board, sang with the Charm City Labor Chorus, and mentored generations of younger activists, many of whom memorialized her on social media today.


Betty Garman Robinson was eighty one years old. 


Credit Casey McKeel (used with permission)
Betty Garman Robinson handing out flyers

Mark is a producer at WYPR