Sacrifices In The South Essay

902 words - 4 pages

On May 4, 1961, the Freedom Riders left the safety of the integrated, northern city of Washington D.C. to embark on a daring journey throughout the segregated, southern United States (WGBH). This group of integrated white and black citizens rode together on buses through different towns to test the effectiveness of newly designed desegregation laws in bus terminals and areas surrounding them (Garry). Founded by the CORE, the first two Freedom Ride buses included thirteen people as well as three journalists to record what would become imperative historical events in the Civil Rights Movement (WGBH). But on their journey throughout these southern states, the Freedom Riders faced many ...view middle of the document...

With 200 white protestors patiently waiting, the bus kept driving to try and avoid the complications; however, the mob was persistent and followed. The bus, however, was eventually forced to halt. (NA) Within minutes, the angry protestors were throwing rocks and bricks, as well as smashing windows with pipes and axes. Next a firebomb was thrown through a shattered window, and the mob blocked the door so the passengers could not get out. As the outsiders began shouting obscenities and yelling folderol, the bus windows slowly started leaking with smoke. Riders didn’t escape until the troopers scared off the protesters with threats. But even then, some of the Riders were beaten with bats and other weapons as they tried to escape the madness (Smith), and others experienced effects from inhaling the fumes of the bomb and had to be taken to the hospital (WGBH). The bus was then burned, and the second bus was escorted by General Robert F. Kennedy so the Rides could continue on (Garry).
Later, also on May, 14, the Freedom Riders entered the town of Birmingham, Alabama (WGBH). Here they faced even worse discrimination and chaos than in Anniston. This city’s police, the Bull Connor Police, had made a deal with the Klu Klux Klan. This plan allotted the KKK, after the Freedom Riders entered Birmingham, fifteen minutes to do whatever they pleased with them; slaughter, beat, burn, and whatever else they could think of. Within those fifteen minutes, the police would act as if they knew nothing of the event, and they would not become involved. But even once the troopers did arrive on the scene, it was as if they were not there at all; for, they did not seem...

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