Thomas Armstrong participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He says that one of Ross Barnett’s speeches encouraged him to participate in the Freedom Rides, because Barnett said that Mississippian’s were happy with the present conditions. The video was filmed for the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link).
His oral history may also be viewed here.
Name of Interviewee: Thomas Madison Armstrong III
Date: November 10, 2001
Place of Interview: Jackson, MS
|0:00-2:00||Jackson, MS; Naperville, IL; United States Postal Service; family religious background|
|2:00-4:00||Family reaction to involvement; Tougaloo College; Ross Barnett; Mary Harrison Lee; arrest at Jackson bus station|
|4:00-6:00||Jackson City Jail; disturbing the peace charges; trial|
|6:00-8:00||June 23, 1961; reaction to being in jail; Freedom Songs; “We Shall Overcome”|
|8:00-10:00||SNCC; voter registration; sit-ins|
|10:00-12:00||Mississippi Freedom Summer; voter registration; McComb, MS|
|12:00-14:00||McComb, MS; Freedom Riders; Stokely Carmichael; Julian Young; Martin Luther King, Jr.|
|14:00-16:00||Kansas City, MO; return to Mississippi; influence of involvement on his life|
|16:00-18:00||Influence of involvement on his life|
|18:00-20:00||Involvement since movement; participation|