The 50th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders

Dec. 3, 2011 / By

There are many events that shaped the Civil Rights movement that we know of today. From the marches and speeches of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. to Rosa Parks, there were many people who played their roles in the movement.

Unfortunately, few people today still remember the Freedom Riders. In 1947, The Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) planned a mission to test a decision by Congress that stated that it was unconstitutional to have segregated seating on an interstate bus. The ride was called the “Journey of Reconciliation.” CORE planned on riding buses from the North East but met heavy resistance in North Carolina.

The event on Saturday, November 5, 2011, featured an award-winning independent film featuring accounts of many of the Riders and government officials who were involved with the movement. The Freedom Riders planned a similar route which left on May 4th, 1961. The buses carrying the interracial passengers never made it to their destination. Many of the riders were injured, some were arrested, and they all saw that the South was not ready to abolish segregation. Not only did the residents of states across the South show their resistance, but many police officers and governors were unsympathetic to the freedom ride.


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