The Freedom Rides

The Freedom Rides PowerPoint PPT Presentation

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2. Members of the Journey of Reconciliation . In early 1947, CORE announced plans to send eight white and eight black men into the upper South to test the Supreme Court ruling that declared segregation in interstate travel unconstitutional. This integrated team of sixteen people set out on the Journey of Reconciliation, a two week pilgrimage through Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky. The Journey of Reconciliation achieved a great amount of attention and was the foundation for th9451

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The Freedom Rides

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1. 1 The Freedom Rides

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3. 3 BOYNTON v. VIRGINIA This Supreme Court case overturned a judgment convicting an African American law student for trespassing by being in a restaurant in a bus terminal which was "whites only." It held that racial segregation in public transportation was illegal because such segregation violated the Interstate Commerce Act. It held that bus transportation was sufficiently related to interstate commerce to allow the United States Federal government to regulate it to forbid racial discrimination in the industry.

4. 4 James Farmer Farmer and several Christian pacifists founded the Congress on Racial Equality (CORE) in 1942. The organization's purpose was to apply direct challenges to American racism by using Gandhian tactics of non-violence. As CORE National Director he helped organize student sit-ins and Freedom Rides in the Deep South. In 1961, he wrote to President Kennedy about the upcoming Freedom Ride, "designed to forward the completion of integrated bus service and accommodations in the Deep South."  

5. 5 The First Weeks of the Freedom Rides

6. 6 Anniston, Alabama In Anniston, Alabama, a white mob awaited the arrival of the first bus bearing the Freedom Riders at the Greyhound station. They attacked the bus with iron pipes and baseball bats and slashed its tires. The bus driver drove out of the station, but the punctured tires forced the bus to pull off the road. The white mob that pursued the bus fire bombed it and held the doors shut preventing riders from exiting the burning bus. An undercover policeman drew his gun, and forced the doors to be opened. The mob pulled the Freedom Riders off the bus and beat them with iron pipes.

7. 7 Montgomery, Alabama Beating On May 21, 1961, the surviving contingent of Riders headed from Birmingham to Montgomery, protected by a contingent of the Alabama State Highway Patrol. When they reached the Montgomery city limits, the Highway Patrol abandoned them. At the bus station was waiting a large white mob that viciously beat them with baseball bats and iron pipes. The local police allowed the beatings to go on uninterrupted.

8. 8 Martin Luther King, Jr Dr. King delivered a statement at a rally to support the Freedom riders on May 21, 1961. In it, he expressed his support for the Freedom Rides and condemned the violence against the riders. He acknowledges that the Deep South will not impose limits on itself, that such action must come from outside. He also reasserts his call for non-violent actions.

9. 9 Robert Kennedy When reports of the bus burning and beating reached Attorney General Robert Kennedy, he urged restraint on the part of Freedom Riders. Kennedy then sent an assistant, John Seigenthaler, to Montgomery, Alabama to observe the Freedom Riders' arrival in that city which was to happen shortly. Seigenthaler was attacked along with the riders upon the bus’ arrival in Montgomery.

10. 10 David Frankhauser David Frankhauser was only 19 when he went from Alabama to Ohio to join the Freedom Riders. He was eventually arrested. Later in life, Dr. Frankhauser wrote about his experiences as a member of the Freedom Rides.

11. 11 Media Citations Slide 2: Slide 3: Slide 4: Slide 5: Slide 6: Slide 7: Slide 8: Slide 9: Slide 10:

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