60th Anniversary Freedom Rides Event

James Farmer Multicultural Center Commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides with Film and Discussion

As the founder and director of CORE (Congress of Racial Equality), one of Dr. Farmer’s signature accomplishments in 1961 was the Freedom Rides.  The Freedom Rides was a movement to enforce the federal government to desegregate interstate travel.  The late civil rights icon, Congressman John Lewis, Rep-GA, was one of the original Freedom Riders.  This journey was originally scheduled to leave Washington, D.C. on May 4, 1961 to travel through the Deep South and arrive in New Orleans on May 17, 1961.  Due to acts of violence and resistance along the way, they encountered many delays to their destination.  There was a national documentary about this experience produced by PBS as part of their American Experience series called “The Freedom Riders” (season 23, episode 11).  (Credit: UMW VPEE/CDO and Univ. Relations)

In commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, the James Farmer Multicultural Center will host a film showing and discussion of this PBS documentary, Freedom Riders, on Tuesday, May 4th at 6:00 pm.  Freedom Riders is the powerful harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives—and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment—for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws in order to test and challenge a segregated interstate travel system, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism.  Register for the Freedom Riders Documentary & Discussion

From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett TillFreedom Riders features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the Rides firsthand. The two-hour documentary is based on Raymond Arsenault’s book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. (Credit: PBS)

You may register here to join us for this showing.  For more information, please feel free to contact the JFMC at 540-654-1044.   Please email us at umwjfmc@gmail.com if you have any questions regarding disability-related accommodations.