Freedom Rides In The 1960's

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Freedom Rides Essay The 1960s was a decade of excitement and discovery with the Beatles, Hippies, The Twist, and the first man on the moon. However, the ‘Swinging Sixties’ were defined mainly by their ability to break free of the social constraints of the previous decades through extreme deviation from the norm , as well as their revolutionary push for individual rights and freedoms. As a result, breaking down racial barriers was one of the highest priorities in a new, countercultural era and in both the United States and later Australia, the Freedom Rides were significant in raising awareness and support for racial civil rights movements. This essay will discuss the fact that whether continuing to fight segregation in the US or initiating…show more content…
The concept of the freedom rides began in 1947, when African-American and white bus riders tested the 1946 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Morgan v. Virginia that segregated bus seating was unconstitutional . While the Journey of Reconciliation failed to gain momentum and stayed well away from the Deep South for fear of violence , it became the inspiration for the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) 14 years later. In response to the Supreme Court’s Boynton v. Virginia decision of 1960, which extended the Morgan decision to include bus terminals, restrooms, and any other facilities associated with interstate travel, a group of seven African Americans and six whites (led by the CORE’s national director James Farmer ) left Washington bound for New Orleans and the Deep South. Convinced that segregationists in the South would violently protest this exercise of their constitutional right, the Freedom Riders, made up of students and peace advocates, hoped to provoke the federal government into enforcing the Boynton decision . Almost immediately, the rides were met with opposition as they began their journey into the southern states, with the first attacks on riders coming in Rock Hill, California. The riders however, undaunted by the growing opposition facing them, continued on to Alabama, where on May 14th they experienced more extreme hostilities. Riders in Anniston stopped to change their tyres, which were slashed at the city’s bus station, when their bus was firebombed and burnt before the riders were brutally beaten by a mob of almost 200 people . The riders in Birmingham also received brutal treatment from an angry mob, armed with metal pipes, however Police Chief Bull Connor stated that, although he knew the Freedom Riders were arriving and violence awaited them, he posted no police
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