Amanda Bowens Perdew
(1945 — 2006)


As remembered by her daughter Tasha
December, 2006

Sorry to let everyone know of the loss of a beautiful SNCC veteran and wonderful singer.

Amanda Bowens Perdew, 61, of Ellenwood, Georgia, slipped away in her sleep Saturday, December 16, 2006 at Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta after a long and courageous battle with cancer.

She was the third child born to Glen "Gant" Bowens and the former Rosetta Blount on August 16, 1945. After her mother died of complications during the birthing process, Amanda was raised by her paternal aunt Amanda Bowens Foster on McCoy Street in Americus, Georgia.

In Americus, she was affectionately known as "Boot," referring to the fact that her first crib was a boot box (on account of her small size from premature birth). At a young age, Amanda joined Big Bethel Missionary Baptist Church in Americus, Georgia where she was in the choir. Her faith in her personal savior Jesus Christ remained unwavering throughout her life and illness.

While still attending Sumter County High School in Americus, Amanda became an activist in the Civil Rights Movement and joined the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). She attended rallies and protests and went to jail standing up for peopleb's rights. Within the Movement, she served as a songleader and member of the Americus Trio, which sang protest songs to inspire and support people trying to abolish segregation throughout the South.

After her marriage to John Perdew on December 23, 1964, the couple lived in Boston, MA and then settled in Atlanta, Georgia. Mrs. Perdew primarily stayed at home to raise her two children, Glen and Tasha, but continued to be active in social causes and worked various jobs including as a professional photographer. Known affectionately to many as "Mama Perdew," she inspired and mentored countless young people whom she adopted as part of her extended family.

A gifted story teller, she was invited to Howard and Duke Universities to participate in historical accounts of the Movement. She also was honored at the Smithsonian Institute and invited to visit the White House along with other songleaders and songwriters who were part of the musical history of the movement.

During her fight with cancer, Mrs. Perdew continued to reach out to provide love and support to others even during her own suffering.

Survivors include: children Virginia Natasha Perdew Silas (spouse Kendal) and Glen P. T. Perdew (spouse Monica); sister-in-law Walter Mae Bowens; nephew Eugene Bowens, Jr.; great niece Cathy Denson; three grandchildren Korey and Nina Silas, and Bryson Bailey Perdew; and extended children and grandchildren including Taylor Silas, Jahmad and Jada Ware, Dennis Lanier and many, many others.

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