Saturday, January 8, 2011

Fiftieth anniversary of Freedom Rides celebrated

Three of the fabled Freedom Riders recalled those days during one of several observations of the 50th anniversary of the rides. This one was held in Winchester, Va.

They were bright, ambitious college students willing to risk their future.

Dion Diamond, Reginald Green, and Joan Mulholland stepped onto a bus in the summer of 1961 not for the purpose of getting from one place to another, but for the hope of change.

The three were some of the first men and women who volunteered to take part in the Congress of Racial Equality's effort to desegregate public transportation throughout the South.

The first Freedom Ride took place May 4, 1961, when seven blacks and six whites left Washington, D.C., on two public buses bound for the South to test the Supreme Court's ruling in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which declared segregation in interstate bus and rail stations unconstitutional.

Many of the passengers were beaten and imprisoned, including Mulholland, Green, and Dion.

Those brave enough to aboard the buses were dubbed Freedom Riders

No comments: