Freedome Riders Journal

In: Historical Events

Submitted By shundadavis
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A Freedom Rider
De’Shunda L. Davis-Brown
The American Experience Since 1945
December 15, 2014
Instructor: James Green

Looking back to 1960 and 1961, I am reminded of a time of fear, despair, inequality as well as accomplishment. Being an African American was hard during those times, but, as an activist and active part of the change seen today in 2014, I am proud to say I was a tremendous part of the Civil Rights Movement. Patterned after a 1947 Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) project known as the Journey of Reconciliation, the Freedom Rides began in early May with a single group of thirteen Riders recruited and trained by CORE’s national staff. We were a diverse group of volunteers, black and white, young and old, male and female, secular and religious, Northerners and Southerners (Arsenault, 2006).
In 1960, the US Supreme Court expanded upon previous rulings and declared segregation in bus terminals, waiting rooms, restaurants, restrooms, and other interstate travel facilities unconstitutional. A year later, SNCC joined forces with the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) in an effort to test the will of local and federal officials to enforce the new legal decisions. Black and white “Freedom Riders” (as we called ourselves) traveled together on bus rides into the Deep South. During these rides, we challenged the government to protect participants from mobs of Klansmen (members of the Ku Klux Klan) and violent segregationists. In 1961 CORE undertook a new tactic aimed at desegregating public transportation throughout the south. These tactics became known as the "Freedom Rides".
The closest thing to a national civil rights crisis to the Freedom Rides that I can recall was the school desegregation fight following the Brown v. Board of Education implementation decision of 1955, but the refusal of the Eisenhower administration to press for…...

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