Freedom Riders Expository Report

685 words - 3 pages

"When we began the ride I think all of us were prepared for as much violence as could be thrown at us. We were prepared for the possibility of death." (James Farmer) . 1961 was a dark yet successful year for the Civil Rights Movement. Buses were bombed and hundreds of African American’s were mauled and arrested fighting for rights that they so much deserved. In this expository report we will explore the causes of the Freedom Rides, how the people and government played a role in the Freedom Rides, and the outcome that came from the rides.

Before the Freedom Rides’ era, there was extensive amounts of racial violence in the U.S, especially in the South, and the Civil Rights Movement was started to preclude all of it. African Americans acted subservient to the whites. When laws were passed against segregation and violence to break the imbalance, like the Supreme Court’s 1946 decision in the Irene Morgan case, declared “segregated seating of interstate passengers unconstitutional”. Even with these laws, almost nothing changed and many saw it. The Freedom Riders saw this as a chance to show the world that segregation was not diminished overnight, and make “...the federal government compelled to enforce the law." (Farmer). However much violence was present before the Freedom Rides, it was about to get much worse.

The Freedom Rides first launched on May 4, 1961. Headed for New Orléans, the Freedom Rides continued down in the Southern US states, stopping in Alabama, Birmingham, Tennessee, Jackson, and many other cities. Along the way, riots, fights, and violence broke out (sometime in extreme cases), but the US Government did nothing to help. Even the local police, and other forms of potent law enforcement failed to step in, and most of the time they purposely didn’t help the Freedom Riders. Even with all of this hatred and racism the Freedom Riders never started the violence. Jim Peck said “...we continue and show that nonviolence can prevail over violence." During the election, John F. Kennedy showed support and compassion towards the African American community...

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