Freedom Rides: The Civil Rights Movements

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On Sunday, May 14, 1961, a mob formed around a Greyhound bus carrying black and white passengers throughout the countryside of Alabama (Holmes). Events like this sparked major turning points in the Civil Rights Movement. The bus attacked had been carrying Freedom Riders through the Alabama countryside in hopes of public locations being desegregated (Holmes). This bus ride symbolized the activists support sent towards the racist rules to be outlawed. Knowing these hopes and dreams for the laws to be outlawed, the men and women on the greyhound bus put their lives on the line to change what they believed needed to be different. Even though freedom rides had come to be dangerous, they proved to be successful. Although the riders encountered many things while they fought for what they believed in, Freedom Riders brought along many improvements to the Civil Rights Movement during their protests that they had hoped to be peaceful.
Although the Freedom Rides were supposed to be peaceful protests, the protestors were put in many dangerous situations and encountered many rioters. Most of the time, the Freedom Riders were attacked when they went into the bus stations and public locations. But many riders also encountered problems just by simply riding the bus route. Rocks and bricks were thrown at the riders and the bus was often times attacked. One particular incident is extremely known well. Attackers threw rocks and bricks, threshed tires and broke windows with pipes and axes, and even threw a firebomb into one of the broken windows. This firebomb exploded and when riders tried to escape and attackers barricaded the door (Holmes). Marian Smith Holmes explains the day a century later:
As smoke and flames filled the bus, the mob barrica...

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...ment, there had been many people and many events that gained movement followers and suffused movement attention, but next to marches and nonviolent protests, the Freedom Rides were a top contender.

Works Cited

"Freedom Riders." n.d. FBI- The Vault. 21 March 2014 .
Freedom Riders: Threatened, Attacked, Jailed. 2010. 21 March 2014 .
Gross, Terry. Get on the Bus: Freedom Riders of 1961. 12 January 2006. 21 March 2014 .
Holmes, Marian Smith. Freedom Riders. n.d. 21 March 2014 .
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