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Rights and Freedoms: Freedom Riders

Year 10 Mandatory History

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Here are some books that you may find useful during your studies.  Search the Bennies catalogue Oliver for more, or browse the Non-fiction collection NFS..


Britannica Online


Freedom Rides, in U.S. history, a series of political protests against segregationby blacks and whites who rode buses together through the American South in 1961.


On May 4, 1961 the first Freedom Ride began.  13 protesters (7 black and 6 white) were led onto a bus by CORE director James Farmer.  The group was led out of Washington on a Greyhound bus.  The plan for the 13 protesters was to ride through Virginia, Carolina, Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi.


The USA Civil Rights Movement 'Freedom Rides' used civil disobedience to great effect. They also influenced the Freedom Ride in Australia which involved Sydney University students going by bus through rural NSW and challenging segregation in businesses and communities. This program explores the Freedom Ride as part of a wider push by Aboriginal Australians to engage in activism and social reform across the nation.

On May 4th, 1961, fifty years ago today, the freedom rides officially began. A fearless and determined group of Americans - men and women, black and white - joined together to fight against racism.

You Tube

In the spring of 1961, black and white civil rights activists rode buses to protest the segregationist policies of the Deep South (Marian Holmes, Brian Wolly, Photos courtesy of Corbis, Getty Images and Library of Congress, Audio clips courtesy of Smithsonian Folkways).

In response to the South's continued practice of segregation, a group of activists from all backgrounds and races rode interstate buses into the deep South. Met by violence and opposition, the Freedom Riders displayed true acts of courage as they peacefully sought to end segregation in the South and achieve civil rights for all people.


Freedom Riders were groups of white and African American civil rights activists who participated in Freedom Rides, bus trips through the American South in 1961 to protest segregated bus terminals.

Khan Academy