Freedom Riders

Standing up for the right thing or Arrogant?

The fight for freedom!

One of the monumental efforts during the Civil Rights Movement was known as the Freedom Rides.

Who were the Freedom Riders? What were they trying to do?

The Freedom Riders were a group of black activists who were fighting for equality and anti-segregation around America. The first Freedom Ride began on May 4, 1961. Led by CORE Director James Farmer, 13 riders (seven black, six white, including Genevieve Hughes, William E. Harbour, and Ed Blankenheim) left Washington, DC, on Greyhound and Trailways buses.

Leaders of the movement

In 1961, a group of well-meaning college students (mostly from Northeastern states) and other activists made the decision to challenge Southern segregation laws. The Freedom Riders were inspired by the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, led by civil rights activists Bayard Rustin and George Houser. Like the Freedom Rides of 1961, the Journey of Reconciliation was intended to test an earlier Supreme Court ruling that banned racial discrimination in interstate travel. Rustin and a few other riders, chiefly members of the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE), were arrested and sentenced to serve on a chain gang in North Carolina for violating local Jim Crow laws regarding segregated seating on public transportation.

The purpose was to show taht these segregation laws were a violation of national law which had been established by mutiple Supreme Court cases. The activsts were intending to show the whole country that the these laws were not fair and promted conflict.

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