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Freedom Riders

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Austin Butler

on 26 February 2013

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Transcript of Freedom Riders

By: Austin Butler Freedom Riders Washington D.C. Coming On Strong The first Freedom Ride took place on May 4th, 1961. Seven African-Americans and six whites participated. Taking two buses these brave people met no resistance.They planned to go to New Orleans, Louisiana, on May 17 to celebrate the seventh anniversary of the Supreme Court's Brown V decision, which stated that blacks and whites should not be separated in school. In NC some riders are arrested then, when the group reached Rock Hill, SC John Lewis and Albert Bigelow were attacked when they tried to enter a whites only waiting room. The next day they reached Atlanta, Georgia where they meet famous Martin Luther King Jr. Also several of the riders split off onto a Trailways bus. After the Freedom Riders meet Martin Luther King Jr. they head into Alabama. Almost right away they are met with horrible violence. When they reach Anniston, Alabama a mob of about 200 people surround them. The bus tries to outrun them but their desperate attempts fail. Much of the mob starts following in their automobiles. Sometime during their escape the rider's tires pop. Then the mob gets out of their cars and precedes to throw a bomb on the bus. However, the passengers did escape the bus before the bomb went off, only to be met by the ferocious mob who then beat them as worst as they can. Fortunately, the second bus did not meet the same fate and were able to escape before they were attacked as well. Unfortunately when they got to Birmingham they were also met by an angry mob as well. Some even wielded metal pipes. Birmingham Public Safety Commissioner Bull Connor said that he knew the Freedom Riders were facing violence but, he didn't notify the police because it was Mother's Day. Alabama Anarchy However through out thick and thin the Riders still did not give up.
They had survived the criticism, bullying, and beating from the whole world and still not given up. Even after the Riders were arrested in Jackson they still kept on riding. Then, even more Riders popped up in the rest of the southern states creating new Rides and standing up for their beliefs. Rides kept on going until November 1, 1961 They traveled through Virginia without anyone taking noticing of them.Then they reach South Carolina. Stoepfel 2013 Rock Hill, South Carolina
Charlotte, North Carolina.
Atlanta Georgia http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/freedomriders/rides#bottom_main
http://www.freedomridersfoundation.org/id16.html References Fresh Troops The next day bus drivers refuse to drive any buses that have Freedom Riders. Undettered the riders schedule a pane to take them to New Orleans. But, because of bomb threats they are unable to take off immediately. While waiting for another plane Riders are attacked by another KKK mob. When the riders reach New Orleans the CORE riders of the group decide to stop the rides because of the violence. However in Tennessse members of the Nashville Student Movement decide not to let the KKK defeat the riders and their cause and take over for the riders who have abandoned the Ride. Ten riders (8 black 2 white) take a bus from Nashville to Birmingham were they are caught and arrested by Safety Commissioner Connors and taken to the edge of the Tennessee border were he abandons them on the side of the rode. When they get back to Birmingham they discover that even more people have replaced them and help their numbers grow. When the nineteen riders try to get onto a Greyhound Terminal they are again denied. One bus driver states — “I have only one life to give, and I'm not going to give it to NAACP or the CORE." So while waiting for a bus to take them the Riders are constantly attacked by a mob led by Robert Shelton a Leader of the Ku Klux Klan. Montgomery Pandemonium Finally after the riders are provided with transportation they reach Montgomery, AL and are immediately attacked by hundreds of Klansmen. The mob beats the Riders with anything that can cause any damage such as, baseball bats, broken bottles, and lead pipes. Also, reporters and photographers are beaten which is why there is little to no photographic evidence of this event.
After the police allow the Klan to beat the Riders to near death they finally show up. By then the mob has already reached over one thousand participants and expanded to the Greyhound Bus Terminal to intercept any Riders just getting to Montgomery. They also set up a bonfire in which they start throwing in their luggage. Even though the police show up they don't arrest anyone (Riders or Mob members) and instead blame the Riders for causing the violence. Because of the segregation laws the riders that need medical attention weren't driven to regular hospitals. Instead they receive help from the Catholic St. Jude's hospital who will treat patients of any race even though they are still separated.

The next day more than 1200 people gather in the Reverend Abernathy's 1st Baptist church in honor of the Freedom Riders. Dr.King also speaks in their support. Outside of the church a mob has started a vicious riot. Many cars are set ablaze and marshals actually try to keep the inhabitants of the church safe from all types of attack. The mob tries to flush them out with tear gas but the marshals keep them inside for their own good. The next day Riders board buses that will take them to Jackson, Mississippi. When they reach Jackson many of them are arrested for trying to enter whites only areas. Governors agree to have the police and National Guard protect the Riders but, that doesn't stop them from being able to be arrested. http://www.history.com/topics/freedom-rides/videos#civil-rights-act-of-1964 http://video.pbs.org/video/1574363015/
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