The Role Of The Freedom Ride

2041 words - 9 pages

The freedom ride was a group of civil rights activist who sought to create change by opposing Jim Crow laws in the Southern states (Arsenault 12). They were made up of both blacks and white people. They integrated areas that remained segregated. Their main aim was to bring national attention to the unconstitutional laws used in the south. They fought for the prospect of equal rights for the blacks. To carry out their mission they used nonviolent actions.
The idea to begin the freedom rides began with members of the congress of racial Equality (CORE). It was founded by James Farmer and his friends. The primary reason for the formation of CORE was to curb racial discrimination and segregation in the southern states by using non violence principles (Armstrong and Bell 7). The first freedom ride was held on April 10, 1974. The ride was a two weeks trip (Lifson). It was famously known as the journey of reconciliation. The journey was implemented through four southern states. It attempted to end segregation at the interstate level. James Farmer and his organization, attempted to once again address Jim Crows laws in the early 1960s. The group planned another ride similar to the first. It became a success; the group was successful in garnering national attention. Farmer changed the name of the rides to freedom rides (A & E Television networks). On May 1961, the first ride took place in Washington DC.
During the summer of 1961, some Americans; both black and white, converged in Jackson Mississippi. Their intent was to challenge the state segregation laws. The freedom riders as they were called were immensely determined to open up the Southern part of America (Branch 67). It was against the American laws for bus and train stations to discriminate. However despite this law, most of the bus stations discriminated and were not willing to make a change.
James Farmer led the May 4th freedom ride in 1961. The ride involved thirteen riders. Seven of the riders were black, while six were white. The group left Washington DC on greyhound buses and Trailways (Taylor). The group original plan was for the trip to start from Virginia and end in New Orleans (Andy). The riders participated in an extensive training on how to be non-violent. They also trained on how to deal with racism and difficult conditions they would face during their trip.
It is worth noting that by taking the trip, the freedom riders challenged the status quo in the Southern region of America. To successfully carry out their mission, the freedom riders placed one black passenger in the white section. This section was at the front of the bus (Hartford, Civil Rights Movement Veterans). The other riders paired, one white and one black. The remaining member of the group would follow all the local laws. In case of an emergency, this member would contact CORE.
In Virginia and Carolina the freedom riders did not face many challenges (Etheridge 19). Few members of the group got arrested. Overall...

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