Freedom Rides

In 1961, a multi-racial group of activists sought to challenge the lack of enforcement of Boynton v. Virginia, which outlawed segregation in interstate transportation. The first group set out from Washington, DC, headed to New Orleans, and attempted to integrate buses and public accommodations at bus stops in the South. When their trip met with violent mobs and physical harm, hundreds of volunteers joined in a larger movement of Freedom Rides in the American South. Their actions led the Interstate Commerce Commission to formally end segregation in bus and railway stations.

Armstrong III, Thomas Madison: Oral History

Thomas Armstrong participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He says that one of Ross Barnett’s speeches encouraged him to […]

Coahoma County Federated Council of Organizations (CCFCO)

Coahoma County Federated Council of Organizations (CCFCO) was an “organizing screen” in which people who could not risk NAACP involvement […]

Nixon, Sandra: Oral History

Sandra Nixon participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. This video was filmed for the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link). […]

Singleton, Robert: Oral History

Robert Singleton participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He describes being arrested in Jackson and the conditions in the […]

Filner, Robert: Oral History

United States Representative Robert Filner participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He explains the conditions at the city jails, […]

Davidov, Marv: Oral History

Marv Davidov participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He describes the conditions at Parchman State Penitentiary. The video was […]

Siegenthaler, John: Oral History

U.S. Attorney General’s Assistant John Siegenthaler observed the Freedom Rides in 1961. He speaks about the violence at Anniston, Alabama, […]

Freedom Rides

In the summer of 1961, the Freedom Riders, a group of mostly young people, both black and white, risked their […]

Lewis, John: Oral History

United States Representative John Lewis participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He speaks about the importance of nonviolence and […]

Mulholland, Joan Trumpower: Oral History

Joan Trumpower Mulholland participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. She describes the conditions at the prison in comparison to […]

Braun-Reinitz, Janet: Oral History

Mural artist Janet Braun-Reinitz participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. She speaks about her involvement in the New York […]

Singleton, Helen: Oral History

Helen Singleton participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. She explains that Freedom Riders received education about nonviolence and describes […]

O’Neal-McCray, Helen: Oral History

Helen O’Neal-McCray participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. She describes the jail conditions for the Freedom Riders. The video […]

McDew, Charles “Chuck”: Oral History

Charles “Chuck” McDew participated in the civil rights movement in many parts of the American South, including Mississippi. He was […]

Person, Charles: Oral History

Charles Person participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He speaks about how the Freedom Riders tested the various facilities […]

Lafayette, Bernard: Oral History

Bernard Lafayette participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961.

Gordon, Albert: Oral History

Born in Belgium, Albert Gordon moved to the United States at age seven. At twenty-seven years old, he participated in […]