Many wound up in prison. Quite a number of them were physically attacked. A few of them were killed.
And still they boarded.
They didn't just talk about the need to bring about equality; they risked their lives to do it. How brave. How worthy of being honored, even a half-century later.
Don't know about them? Read about them. This is OUR history.
And I don't just mean black folks history . . . this is our nation's history, the history of using non-violence to achieve civil rights. Whether you are white, black, red, or brown --- Democrat, Republican, Liberal, or Conservative . . . this is a story that encompasses us all, no matter what your personal view. Love them or hate them -- cheer them or ridicule them -- the Freedom Riders made history.
I read In Struggle: SNCC and the Black Awakening of the 1960s years ago, and I heartily recommend it to all! The author, Clayborne Carson, did a helluva job documenting the start of the Freedom Riders, and how it led to the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, and it's role in the Civil Rights Movement.
I think, after reading this book, you'll agree that the Freedom Riders deserve icon/hero status.