The Freedom Riders: Sacrifices in the South

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On May 4, 1961, the Freedom Riders left the safety of the integrated, northern city of Washington D.C. to embark on a daring journey throughout the segregated, southern United States (WGBH). This group of integrated white and black citizens rode together on buses through different towns to test the effectiveness of newly designed desegregation laws in bus terminals and areas surrounding them (Garry). Founded by the Congress of Racial Equality (Garry) , or CORE, the first two Freedom Ride buses included thirteen people as well as three journalists to record what would become imperative historical events in the Civil Rights Movement. This group of fifteen people would begin to emerge as an organization that would eventually reach 400 volunteers (WGBH). Those involved were mostly young, college students whose goal it was, as said by the CORE director James Farmer, to “…create a crisis so that the federal government would be compelled to enforce the law.” (Smith). But on their journey throughout these southern states, the Freedom Riders faced many challenges, threats, and dangers. Of the confrontations, the first one encountered by the Freedom Riders was in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was here that Joseph Perkins was arrested for attempting to get his shoes polished in a whites’-only shoeshine chair. After choosing no bail, Perkins spent two nights in jail. However, this was nothing for Perkins, who had spent two years in the army and engaged in other civil rights movements. After leaving the military, Perkins joined in on the lunch sit-ins to end counter segregation. Because of his great accomplishments and bravery, the CORE thought he would be a positive addition to the group; therefore, they asked him to join in August of 1960... ... middle of paper ... ...Riders ended up staying (WGBH). Overall, there is no doubt that the Freedom Riders had the courage to fight a battle they believed in. They gave many others hope for African American rights in the future. Not only this, but as well as the bravery to take on small tasks themselves, like when Aibaleen helped Skeeter write The Help. These brave acts of the Riders were well worth all of their sacrifices, challenging times, and rough encounters. Works Cited Garry, Eric Foner and John A. "Freedom Rides." 1 December 1991. ProQuest. 26 April 2014 . NA. 2014. 28 April 2014 . Smith, Marian Holmes. "THe Freedom Riders." 2014. Infohio. 28 April 2014 . WGBH. PBS. 2010. 25 April 2014 .
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