Civil Rights 50 Years Later: The Freedom Riders

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Fifty years ago this summer, 400 men and women, black and white, traveled through the Jim Crow South aboard buses. Their actions were a prelude to the Civil Rights movement about to explode. On the next Focus Western New England, Tuesday April 5th, meet the Freedom Riders from this region, and join the conversation about race in America then and now.

  • Studio Guests:
  • Jean Thompson: In 1961 at the age of 19, she boarded the first Freedom Riders bus, a Trailways that went from New Orleans, LA, to Montgomery, GA, to Jackson, MI. Jean Thompson now lives in Amherst, MA.
  • James Breeden: As a young minister in Roxbury, MA, in 1961, he became a Freedom Rider along with a group of Episcopal priests. James Breeden now lives in Leyden, MA
  • Ray Arsenault: author of Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, professor of Southern History at the University of Florida, St. Petersburg.


Link: WGBY Presents Freedom Riders from American Experience