Born in Belgium, Albert Gordon moved to the United States at age seven. At twenty-seven years old, he participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. Gordon states that his Jewish heritage influenced his decision to become a freedom rider. He ponders the reasons why certain individuals hold a greater commitment to equality and become involved in activism, while others do not. He fondly recalls the bonds that formed between people who participated in demonstrations and civil rights activism. Gordon speaks about his experiences riding on the buses, being arrested, and sitting in jail. He spent time in Parchman Penitentiary as well. He also discusses his involvement in other civil rights and anti-war activities. He helped register African-American voters in Mississippi while he lived next door to Fannie Lou Hamer. He explains his views on Stokely Carmichael and the Black Power movement. The interview was filmed for the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link) in November 2001.
His oral history may also be viewed here.
Name of Interviewee: Albert Gordon
Date: November 2001
Place of Interview: Jackson, MS