The Freedom Riders
Civil Rights Activists Fighting Segregation
Reading Level: 9
Interest Level: 9-12
The Supreme Court's decision in the 1960 case of Boynton v. Virginia held that any amenity related to interstate travel could not be segregated. In the South, the decision effected little change; restaurants, restrooms, and waiting rooms in bus and train terminals remained divided into white-only and black-only areas in 1961 when the Freedom Riders showed the world the ugly reality of segregation. At the outset of the Freedom Rides, thirteen men and women, both black and white, came together to ride buses through the South and challenge segregation in bus terminals. They faced an overwhelming, violent response. Yet at the peak of the movement, more than four hundred people risked physical harm to participate. This book provides a comprehensive look at the bravery of those involved, describes the racism protestors fought, and outlines how peaceful tactics ultimately led to desegregation.