The Freedom Rides and Alabama: A Guide to Key Events and Places, Context, and Impact

The Freedom Rides and Alabama: A Guide to Key Events and Places, Context, and Impact

Noelle Matteson

Language: English

Pages: 90

ISBN: 1603061061

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


















befriending the drunks and vagrants in his cell, who helped him communicate with other riders. At 11:30 p.m. on May 18, Connor dropped by to collect seven riders, including Lewis. Completely ignorant of where they were about to go but unwilling to physically fight, the riders went limp and forced the police to drag them. They were placed in unmarked police station wagons. Connor tried to chat with them. The threat of lynching hung in the air, but Catherine Burks invited him to breakfast

From left to right: Nashville Freedom Riders Bill Harbour, Lucretia Collins, Jim Zwerg, Catherine Burks, John Lewis, and Paul Brooks in Chicago in July 1961. (Courtesy of Bill Harbour) The riders embraced one another and were introduced to members of the Montgomery Improvement Association. Gathering at Seay’s house gave the riders a renewed sense of determination. Nash wanted to harness this feeling of solidarity. She contacted Martin Luther King Jr. about getting the SCLC to help her

its gas tank exploded, the congregation inside feared the blast was the start of an all-out attack. Despite widespread publicity about the mass meeting, authorities were slow to arrive. When they did, marshals kept the rioters across the street, and Floyd Mann’s plainclothes patrolmen kept an eye on the situation. The Reverend Solomon Seay Sr. opened the mass meeting with hymns. He described the inspiring courage of the freedom riders and introduced Diane Nash, sitting in the front row.

from NewSouth Books How the arrival of the Freedom Riders forever changed the city of Anniston, Alabama... When the Ku Klux Klan firebombed a Freedom Riders bus in Anniston, Alabama, it inspired the black and white leaders of the small industrial city to make a change. Deciding it was better to unite the community than to divide it, the residents of Anniston created a biracial Human Relations Council which set about to quietly dismantle Jim Crow segregation laws and customs.

time had come.” Inspired by the NSM’s calculated organizing and by the spontaneous Greensboro sit-ins, college students from across the South—mostly from historically black universities—gathered in April 1960 at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina. Out of this conference emerged a new black-led organization, the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). The new group (pronounced “Snick”) quickly began organizing student protests across the country. The young civil rights

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