Free Essay

Freedom Riders

In: Historical Events

Submitted By mdcallaghan
Words 977
Pages 4
Freedom Riders
John Smith
September 17, 2014

Freedom Riders
Journal entry December 12th 1961: It has been difficult living in the era that we do. Being an African American in Alabama is not the life I had envisioned for myself. The benefit of going to college, which is handed to white people, is often unobtainable for the black person. I have always known I was destined to do something more with my life. The Jim Crowe laws constantly remind me that I am not an equal to those around me. Last year 1960, the Supreme Court ruled that those very laws are illegal. Shortly after those rulings my sister took part in a sit-in at a drug store, which led to that store changing its policy. Later she met Ella Baker an SCLC activist and was invited to a conference at Shaw University in Raleigh in April 1960. That conference led to the creation of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. That committee took nonviolent actions ever more forward by organizing freedom rides. This was a direct challenge of segregation on interstate busses as the Constitution protected interstate commerce.
Inspired by my sister’s actions I have made up my mind to join those people. To stand up and stand out in order to see that discrimination comes to an end. There are some 400 freedom riders putting the Supreme Court ruling to the test. We often go in inter-racial teams from somewhere North in to the Segregated South. Essentially backed by Boynton v. Virginia, (1960) ruling that segregation for passengers engaged in interstate travel was unconstitutional. We all knew what we were getting in to. However, we had no idea just how sideways things were going to go. From violence to being arrested it was apparent that anything was on the table. White vs. Black was the rule of the day and there are some minds that simply could not be changed.
Being a freedom rider is a journey in fear and constant wonder about what might come next. Not long ago a bus in carrying riders in Anniston was firebombed forcing all on board to flee for their lives. Another incident bought to light by an FBI informant indicated that the local public safety commissioner Eugene “Bull” Connor gave the Ku Klux Klan fifteen minutes to attack a bus of freedom riders before calling law enforcement in to “protect” them. A very similar incident happened in Montgomery, where freedom riders following the trail that Rosa Parks had blazed got on an integrated Greyhound bus from Birmingham. This caused a massive 2 hour long riot in which 22 people were injured and five sent to the hospital, including white activists such as James Peck. Between the violence in Anniston and Birmingham the rides came to a temporary stop. I was relived that I had not yet encountered any of the issues my fellow riders had. However, that was to be short lived.
May 24th, 1961 I was on a freedom ride in to Jackson Mississippi. Upon arriving I used a “white only” bathroom and was promptly arrested. My charges were breaching of the peace and refusal to obey an officer. In light of our arrests the Governor Ross Barnett commented in defense of segregation “The negro is different because god made him different to punish him”. It is no wonder we were treated so harshly because we continued our stand “Jail no Bail”, refusing to pay fines for unconstitutional arrests. We were often beaten, jammed packed in to tiny, filthy cells. Some of us were forced to do hard labor in the scorching heat. While other freedom riders were manacled to the walls, or transported off to the State Penitentiary at Parchman.
Public sympathy for the jailed riders and the movement led John F. Kennedy’s administration to issue a new desegregation order. The new ICC rule became effective November 1, 1961 and changes soon followed. Under the new law passengers were permitted to sit wherever the chose on the bus. “White” and “Colored” signs came down in the bus terminals’ separate drinking fountains, toilets, and waiting rooms were consolidated; and lunch counters began serving people regardless of skin color.
Though my journey as a freedom rider is now at a close that does not mean I am no longer an activist. The signs may be down but racism is not dead and there are still people out there fighting for the cause. James Lawson the wizard of non violent theory and tactics; Diane Nash a pure champion of justice; Bob Moss the man about our right to vote and James Bevel the “Preacher”. Through those peoples eyes and own vision the dream of a free and equal America is very real.

Andrews, K. T. (2007). Freedom riders: 1961 and the struggle for racial justice. The Journal of
American History, 94(1), 356-357. Retrieved from

Wilson, S., Avery, C., Ford, K., Hancock, M., Read, S., Stephens, E., & Young, T. A. (2007).
Freedom riders: John lewis and jim zwerg on the front lines of the civil rights movement. Language Arts, 85(2), 167-168. Retrieved from

Frystak, S. (2010). Freedom's main line: The journey of reconciliation and the freedom rides.
The Journal of Southern History, 76(3), 786-788. Retrieved from

Freedom Rides -Black History. (2014). Retrieved from history/freedom-rides The Freedom Riders then and Now. (2012). Retrieved from Get On the Bus: The Freedom Riders of 1961. (2006). Retrieved from

Similar Documents

Free Essay

Freedom Riders

...Christina Glenn Sociology 10:15 Mary Hewitt Extra Credit Freedom Riders Extra Credit On May 4, 1961 a group of seven blacks, and six whites from the group C.O.R.E. (Congress of Racial Equality) boarded two buses in Washington DC. They planned to travel to New Orleans, Louisiana with the intentions of testing the Supreme Court’s ruling in Boynton v. Virginia which declared segregation in interstate bus and rail stations unconstitutional. The riders were a peaceful, loving group of people wanting to bring justice and freedom to the South. Initially, the riders encountered minor hostility. However, the deeper south they travelled, they were met with hostility. The police chief of Birmingham, Bull Connor saw the Freedom Ride as a challenge to his authority in the city. He ordered his officers to look the other way, while one bus of riders was severely beaten and the other bus was burned after being attacked by several dozen whites. Eventually, with the intervention of the U.S. Justice Department, most of CORE's Freedom Riders were evacuated from Birmingham, Alabama to New Orleans. The freedom riders played a pivotal role in the civil rights movement. While Rosa Parks may have initiated equal rights back in 1955, the freedom riders took it to the next level. They brought racism in the United States to the attention of the entire world. When news of The Freedom Riders stories hit the newspapers, and airway, it showed other countries the injustices that were put on......

Words: 609 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

The Freedom Riders

...BBB Period N 18 March 2013 Freedom Riders Backlash The Freedom Riders strive through a journey of hardships to have their point accepted by others, which was bus desegregation. Through the journey the Freedom Rides took some obstacles that affected them physically and mentally. They fought threw times like the downfalls that their movement brought and the mobs that greeted them in every state. The mobs were verbally and physically violent towards the Freedom Riders more than a few times while their movement went on. The Freedom Riders went through a devastating downfall through their movement. In May of 1961, the Greyhound carried the Freedom Riders into South Carolina where, like Carson’s article “SNCC” describes, “…John Lewis was the first to be hit as he approached the white waiting room” (SNCC 1). This was a downfall because they were trapped and injured, not being able to move on in their movement. The “MLKJ Research and Education Institute” stated that, “[…] from the attack of Lewis and another rider, the arrest of one participant attracted media coverage.” (MLKJ 1). Their arrival in South Carolina brought an impact on their movement; it began to be shown from each state. As the Freedom Riders rode into Alabama, a furious mob crowded the Greyhound bus and sent it into flames without care for the people inside. The mob surrounded the bus and locked them inside. In Carmichael Stokleys “Freedom Riders”, she states that the Freedom Riders continued to fight for......

Words: 1204 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

The Diary of a Freedom Rider

...Diary of a Freedom Rider Headed to New Orleans In 1960 Diary of a Freedom Rider leaving Washington headed to New Orleans and what they had to endure during this very difficult and violent time, even though a law had been passed prohibiting segregation. In the spring of 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) sponsored “freedom rides.” Groups of black and white travelers rode through the South deliberately entering segregated bus terminals and restaurants. Local mobs often attacked the “freedom riders. (Moss & Thomas, 2013) The CORE organized a dozen activists who were paired into two interracial sets of Freedom Riders which traveled by Greyhound and Trailways buses traveling from Washington D.C. to New Orleans, Louisiana. The Freedom Riders left Washington on May 4, 1961 and traveled without any problems across Virginia and North Carolina. They began encountering violence for the first time at a bus terminal in Rock Hill, South Carolina, several white males beat black riders whom attempted to use a “whites only” restroom. The Freedom Riders continued their travels and crossed into Georgia without incident. The activists reached Alabama on May 14th and the attacks worsen, a mob met the Greyhound riders in Anniston, rocks were thrown and bus tires were slashed. The bus driver managed to drive the bus a few miles out of town. While the bus was stopped for repair of the tires, white supremacists firebombed the bus which ended that groups Freedom Ride.......

Words: 801 - Pages: 4

Premium Essay

Freedom Rider

...A Freedom Rider May fourth nineteen hundred and sixty-one, I signed my life away last night; not for the army, not for the new peace corp, not even for my country. I signed it away for it's people. Yes, not it's whites, not it's blacks but it's PEOPLE! As I sit on this bus I think about the Jim Crows Laws. I cringe at the illustration in my head of some clown-faced man dancing, hooting and hollering, around and poking fun at my fellow travelers ("United States History", n.d.). We all signed our lives away. We are prepared to push the boundaries and limits of the law. They think they can do what they want. They aren't above the law! I'm prepared to give my life, a white life for OUR cause. OUR CAUSE! This affects us all. I am a daughter of the movement to unite us all! Washington D.C. is a long way from New Orleans and I don't expect this to be an easy road. I believe I am more hated than the man next to me. I am a white empathizer, a “nigger lover” they scream as they spit in my face and blacken my eyes. I'm okay with this because in my eyes, being of color is better than being ignorant any day! What the racist white man doesn't see is the dominos will fall and he will lose! Soon he will be forced to serve a black man at a diner and call him Sir, and then a woman and call her ma'am. Oh how their egos will fall. I can't say I'm not scared, many state lines to cross, but I have to stand for what I know is right. RIGHTS! I have the right as a white......

Words: 433 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

How American History Influenced the Movie Industry

...How American History Influenced The Movie Industry? The period of 1960’s is known as one of the most creative periods in the history of the Hollywood filmmaking. It was prominent due to usage of new narrative and style techniques in presenting changes in American values in the film industry at that time. The period of 60’s is known as a period of change, which was carrying an idea that the goal American society sets, can be successfully achieved. The most common topic in the movies of that period was America’s role in the World, as well as it’s controversial position. President of the US at that time, John Kennedy was promising that before the end of the decade men will step on the moon. He also lobbied for the civil right movement and the Civil Rights Act, which emphasized the end of the period of long segregation in the South. The latter finally gave the same amount of equality to Whites and Blacks. However, the decade ended with the Watts riots. All of these occasions summarized gave a clear sign that there was something wrong happening in America. The movies of 60’s were a way to respond to social movements, which were connected with the issues of civil rights, poverty, and feminism. Films were not only the representation of public view on the issues taking place in America, but also presented the favorable outcomes of values and institutions. Movies produced during the 60’s exposed the new figures to the audience. In addition, they presented the ways of thinking and......

Words: 2009 - Pages: 9

Premium Essay

Whale Rider

...Whale Rider In the novel The Whale Rider, by Witi Ihimaera, we learn about the Maori tribe from Whangara of New Zealand. They believe that the first person to come to their land was brought by a whale. They believe that this man was the Whale Rider. Being the Whale Rider is the passing of the tribal torch of leadership. When a girl is born, the first grandchild of that generation, her great-grandfather Koro is terribly disappointed. He doesn't acknowledge the possibility that she could be the one to take over leadership. However, even though Kahu is a girl, she was born with the gifts known to tribal heritage, such as being able to talk to the whales. Kahu is the eldest great-grandchild of Koro. Unfortunately, because Kahu is a female her great-grandfather has no interest in her because he is only focused on finding the next leader of the tribe. Kahu showers Koro with love, but does so continuously dismissing her abilities. Kori stays focused on continuing his classes for the males in the tribe and searches for “the one”. Spirited, young spirited Kahu, is also a member of the Maori tribe of Whangara but is not eligible for head role. Although being the great-grandchild of Koro means she should be able to overtake the leadership of the tribe, but unfortunately the tradition imagines a boy for this position. Therefore, she is not allowed to follow her determination or display her gifts. This situation leads to constant conflict with Koro who would surely have preferred a......

Words: 622 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Cost Accounting

...our own experiences, we discovered that Aramark uses cost leadership to operate. The cost leadership strategy is beneficial to a company because it has the lowest cost in the industry. The dining service goes through rapid change and has specific ways in which they function on a daily basic. Due to elements such as the strategic target, basis of competitive advantage, product lines, production and marketing emphasis, the strategy a company chooses to have is relative to its goals and characteristics. The only true way to understand the strategies of two companies is through experience. After spending much time at Daly’s, the Rider University cafeteria, we concluded that there are definite traits of the company that directly correlate to the aspects of cost leadership. There is a broad section of the target market that Aramark focuses on, which is the Rider University student body consisting of both graduates and undergraduates. Before Aramark Food Service, Campus Dish had a different way of food distribution, but changed it to lower costs in the industry. Aramark, like almost all food services, attempts to keep their costs down. For instance, in the beginning of 2010 we believe that there was a large amount of food wasted. Even twenty minutes before closing time employees would be continuing with the preparation and cooking of food. It was not smart to continue to cook and serve food at this time because there were less and less people entering the dining hall. To change......

Words: 698 - Pages: 3

Free Essay


...York with lower second class degree in English literature and art history in 1977. He often did not get along with his dad and he remembers him as a cruel man that only cared about his money. Facing bankruptcy, his dad moved all his assets into Swiss numbered accounts. He later died of cancer and the family wasn’t able to track down the money. As for his mother, Anthony had always adored her; she even gave him a human skull for his 13th birthday, he still has it. It sits by his desk and reminds him that life is short… he needs to get a move on with that next chapter! Life as an Author and Achievements: Anthony Horowitz started professional writing at the age of 22 and already has over 40 books by now. His most famous series are: Alex Rider (with 11 books), The Power of Five (with 5 books), and The Diamond Brother Series (with 8 books). He has won Booksellers Association Award (2008), Booktrust Teenage Prize (2008), British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year (2006), British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year (2005), British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year (2004), Red House Children's Book Award (2003), British Book Awards Children's Book of the Year (2002) and one of the awards he is recognized for is the Hampshire Book Award (2003). The Hampshire Book Award is given to works of...

Words: 586 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Whale Rider

...Empathic Response – Whale Rider – Kahu In this empathic response, I will be giving an insight into one of the main characters’ feelings in the book “The Whale Rider” by Witi Ihimaera. This character is Kahu, Koro Apirana’s great-granddaughter. I will be responding to the part in the book, when Kahu rides the whale. “Why? Kahu asked Koro Apirana. ‘Our ancestor wants to die.’ ‘ But why?’ ‘There is no place for it here in this world. The people who commanded it are no longer here.’ He paused. ‘When it dies, we die, I die.’ ‘No, Paka. And if it lives?’ ‘Then we live also.’ I plunged into the frigid waters with only one thought in my mind. I have to take action. If the ancient one dies, every single one of us will disappear. That’s what Paka said. I really don’t know what to think. I can’t bear the thought that my dear Paka and my family would cease to exist. I don’t even care about my own fate, as long as they are safe, I’ll be happy. Everything that has happened so far, the two hundred sacred whales dying has led to this, the very whale that our ancestor rode thousands of years ago has decided to wash up on our shores. This time, he has the intention of self-slaughter, which basically means it’s a sign that we humans are all going to die. Right now, nobody is even trying to do something about it. Every now and then, I had to take a deep breath because the waves were like dumpers, slamming me down to the sandy bottom. The lights from the beach were dazzling my eyes,......

Words: 507 - Pages: 3

Free Essay

Easy Rider

...Douglas Salayka Prof. Major Easy Rider Easy rider was a film I couldn’t understand. I have to say I didn't like it. I somewhat respect what the film did for the industry but still I cant full respect it for the scenes of them having sex at the graveyard. That was a bit to much for me. The movie starts out with a cocaine deal, The 2 main characters then wanted to use the money and jet. The scenes of them riding around on motorcycles used music from the time like Born to be wild. At that time it was very new to be using tracks like that in films. For that reason I give the movie bonus points because it did something nobody ever really did at the time. So the 2 men on the road trip find themselves in all sorts of trouble. The film actually used real drugs in the scenes that depicted them using cocaine and marijuana. To me that's crazy, but I know Dennis hopper had to do with this as he was a user at the time. I even read that Jack Nicholson actually came out and said it was real marijuana that he smoked. In class we touched upon why Jack Nicholson died but the other men didn't. I think we came to a consensus that it was just luck that they survived a bit longer but I still don't get that. The biggest thing I want to talk about is the drug tripping scene in the graveyard. Hopper didn't get permission or anything to film there and they were basically having sex on the tombstone of a dead child. If something like this happened now the media would be all over it saying how......

Words: 449 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

Storm Breaker Novel vs Film

...“Storm breaker” an award winning book for all ages by Anthony Horowitz is a spy thriller about a teenager named Alex Rider. He is not your everyday average 14 year old. After the book was published , a film was made in 2006 starring well known actors like Alex Pettyfer, Ewan MacGregor and Micky Rourke. The film and the book is simmilar but has some differences. For example, in the book it starts with “When the door bell rings at 3 in the morning, its never good news.” on the other hand, in the film, it starts with Alex's school, then his uncle , Ian Rider being chased and it is not that fun if we know how his uncle died. There are other parts that are different too .In the film,Alex goes to the car junk-yard from the funeral chasing the van with his bike but in the novel he goes from the school library to the junk yard and the junk yards name is JB stryker but in the film,the name is Jeff Slater. Some characters are different too. Like Mr. Blunt. In the book it it said he has grey lips, grey eyes grey hair grey suit but he did not wear grey suit, and don't have grey eyes. He does not say the word from the book. I thought he moved like a robot . The film maker put a statue behind him and he did the the same action. I didn't expect him to be like that. If I was you I would read the book because there are more details and it is more like a mystery. He finds out how his uncle died. The film is not that fun. Some parts are very different. I like the book more. I will......

Words: 311 - Pages: 2

Free Essay

English Empathic Response Whale Rider

...English – Empathic Response Essay In this empathic response, I will be giving an insight into one of the main characters’ feelings in the book “The Whale Rider” by Witi Ihimaera. This character is Kahu, Koro Apirana’s great-granddaughter. A deep emotional understanding of the text pages 100-102 shall be demonstrated in this text through her perspective. I must save the whale, my sacred ancestor; otherwise everyone that I love will perish. Daddy, Ana, Nani, Rawiri, Paka. Paka. Oh, Paka. I plunged into the agitated, frigid waters with only one thought in my mind. I have to take action. If the ancient one dies, every single one of us will disappear. That’s what Paka said. I really don’t know what to think. I can’t bear the thought that my dear Paka and my family would cease to exist. I don’t even care about my own fate – as long as they are safe, I’ll be happy. Everything that has happened so far, the two hundred sacred whales dying has led to this – the very whale that our ancestor rode thousands of years ago has decided to wash up on our shores. This time, he has the intention of self-slaughter, which basically means it’s a sign that we humans are all going to die. Right now, nobody is even trying to do something about it. Except for me. I, Kahutia Te Rangi, direct descendant of Paikea, won’t let this happen to my loved ones. I’m going to have to try and save Whangara by sacrificing myself to the whale. If the whale lives, we live. My line of vision narrowed down...

Words: 1044 - Pages: 5

Premium Essay

Whale Rider

...The Whale Rider This movie really grabbed me right from the beginning of the story. The story begins with the birth of fraternal twins, with the grandfather patiently awaiting the birth of the son. Right away I felt sadness when the mother and one of the twins die. The boy dies and the girl survives. The grandpa seems to not care about the girl who survived . He was longing for his grandson because he is from the Maori tribe and the tribe is waiting for the sign of a new chief to be born . The chief would lead the village and its community to greatness. Many elders have been born but none with the strength to be the next chief. The little girl was named Pai. The grandma of Pai took her home to raise her along with the grandfather. The grandfather showed right away that women or girls where less than a man. He longed for a new chief. This was grandpa’s goal in life right now. He could see that their tribe was going down hill. He had hoped one of his son’s would become the chief but neither one did. So grandpa was set on his grandson becoming the next Chief.                                              It was no secret that he blamed Pia for the death of his grandson. He felt by her birth she gave a curse to the tribe. He couldn’t see any truth or purpose in her having life over the grandson. He showed resentment toward her. As time went on , Pia seemed to be this stubborn, curious, and smart little tomboy. The......

Words: 1170 - Pages: 5

Free Essay

Breport Horowitz

...SLICE 1 Title: Stormbreaker Author: Anthony Horowitz ICE 2 Setting: The novel Stormbreaker takes place in modern day London, England. It has different setting which include Port Tallon, M16, and Sayles Enterprises. Quote: “ Alex walked through Port Tallon, past the Fisherman’s Arm’s Tavern and up the cobblestone street toward the library. It was the middle of the afternoon, but the village seemed to be asleep, the boats bobbing in the harbor, the streets and pavement empty. A few seagulls wheeled lazily over the rooftops, uttering the usual morning cries. The air smelled of salt and dead fish.” Page 145 SLICE 3 Alex Rider, the hero and main character of Stormbreaker, is nice, caring, and is an action-seeker, that tries to figure out who killed his Uncle Ian and ends up in a world of spies. Herod Sayle, the main villain of the story, is very spiteful, torturous, and wealthy, who is also an inventor and created the Stormbreaker. SLICE 4 The conflict occurs when Uncle Ian dies in a car accident and Alex finds out it really was not an accident. He figures out his Uncle was really a spy, and that he had been training Alex to be a spy his whole life. Alex then tries to figure out what actually happened to his Uncle and how he really died. SLICE 5 1. Alex is living with his guardian, Uncle Ian, who suddenly dies in a car accident. 2. Alex figures out Uncles Ian’s death was not an accident, but instead he was murdered and is a spy. 3. Alex is then on......

Words: 552 - Pages: 3

Premium Essay

Whale Rider Essay

...environment. This saying is evident for Paikea in Whale Rider, as she is the only survivor during a birth difficulty and she has to live knowing her loving grandfather is upset that the boy hadn’t survived. Environment for individuals are unique and diverse just like snowflakes, there will never be one the same as the other. In Whale Rider, environments that are evident in the film were when Paikea rode the whale, only a baby girl was born, and when Koro believed there was no hope for the Apriana family’s continuity. In the whale rider, Paikea was about to leave her hometown until she felt as if the whales were calling back. Spiritually, she felt destined to stay to live her legacy. When the Apriana family noticed various beached whales washed up on the shore, they all made an extensive effort to try and drag them back to the water, but all attempts failed. Later, Paikea came and tried to help but Koro told her not to because he thought even her presence was not helping. After Koro and the rest of the family left the detrimental scene, Paikea stayed and mounted the largest whale. She tried talking to the whale and it started to breath and eventually made its way back in the ocean with Paikea, leading the other beached whales. A spiritual environment is happening while she is riding the whale in the sea. “My name is Paikea Apirana, and I come from a long line of chiefs stretching all the way back to the whale rider. I'm not a prophet, but I know that our people will......

Words: 1041 - Pages: 5