Fifty years ago, Freedom Riders braved beatings and arson by supremacists intent on maintaining apartheid in the Jim Crow South. By challenging segregated transportation through nonviolent action, these African American and white activists set in motion a process that ultimately dismantled segregation. While the struggle for racial justice continues, at least this shameful chapter of formal racial discrimination is history.
Reflecting on this anniversary, Rep. John Lewis, one of the main organizers of the Freedom Rides, noted that they “changed America. Before the movement…people were afraid….That fear is gone. People can walk, live, work and play with a sense of dignity and a sense of pride.”
For more on this story, visit: Support the New Freedom Riders » Counterpunch: Tells the Facts, Names the Names.