Charles Person

Freedom Rider

Brief Background

  • Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia
  • Involved with Civil Right Movements since high school
  • Youngest of the original 1961 CORE Freedom Ride - Only 18 years-old
  • Was a freshman in Atlanta's Morehouse College

Charles Involvement With Civil Right Movements

Charles Person's dream career was a scientist. He was refused admission to the all-white Georgia Institute of Technology. Due to this, he was involved in a sit-in movement in Atlanta for segregated lunch tables in early 1961. As a result, he was sentenced 16 days in jail.
CORE Freedom Ride recognized Charles and asked him to join along the Freedom Ride because they needed someone to represent the state of Georgia. Once the Greyhound buses reached Birmingham, Alabama, Charles's bus was attacked by the KKK. Charles was the most badly beaten among all the other riders.


After the Freedom Ride was over, Charles joined the U.S. Marines. He remained to work for the service from 1961-1981. After retiring from the service, he lived in Cuba from 1981-1984. Once he moved out of Cuba, he moved back to his hometown, Atlanta, Georgia. Since returning to Georgia, he has worked in Atlanta public schools as a technology supervisor.