Tuesday, November 05, 2013

The Freedom Riders of the 1960s - Do You Know Who They Are?

The bravest group of people in the 20th century were the Freedom Riders. These young people -- black and white -- risked their life and freedom when they decided to board buses from the North to help end segregation in the South.

Many wound up in prison. Quite a number of them were physically attacked.  A few of them were killed.

And they knew before they boarded those buses the possible fates they lay ahead.

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.

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