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Putting the Movement on the Move: The 1961 Freedom Rides

March 23 @ 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm

Eleven years before Mrs. Rosa Parks was arrested for refusing to give her seat to white passengers on a Montgomery city bus, Ms. Irene Morgan refused to give her seat to white passengers on a Greyhound Bus in Virginia.

Ms. Morgan’s courageous action and brutal arrest led to a landmark ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court declaring it unconstitutional for Greyhound and Trailways buses to segregate passengers. However, these buses, planes and trains, especially in the Deep South continued to operate as segregated.

This presentation by the Freedom Rides Museum will examine the Freedom Rides, a campaign involving 436 Black and white men, women and youth from 35 states who traveled into the Deep South during the summer of 1961 risking their lives and their freedom to try to bring about an end to these segregated practices. Some were violently attacked and nearly killed while more than 300 were arrested and incarcerated in Mississippi’s infamous Parchman Penitentiary. This presentation will examine the stories and heroism of the Freedom Riders while also detailing the failures of leadership at the local, state and federal level.


March 23
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm