Freedom Rides In The Civil Rights Movement

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Civil Rights Activist William Hacke once said, “Democracy is a process, not a static condition. It is becoming rather than being. It can easily be lost, but never fully won. It is in essence an eternal struggle.” (Quotes). On May 4, 1961 the journey that ended racial injustice in interstate transportation began. The weeks and months that followed would be perfect example of the injustices occurring and the close mindedness of whites in the south. The Freedom Rides were the most important part of the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 60s due to their symbolism, journey, and extreme reaction. The Freedom Rides were an idea for many years. They intended to tests the Supreme Court ruling in the case Boynton v. Virginia in 1960. The outcome…show more content…
on May 4, 1961 with the aim to reach New Orleans, LA on May 17th, the anniversary of the court ruling. Civil Rights activist and freedom rider Charles Person once said, “You didn’t know what you were going to encounter. You had night riders, you had hoodlums. … You could be antagonized at any point in your journey.” The freedom rides were a plan that was virtually guaranteed to experience an extreme reaction by members of the Klu Klux Klax or other white supremacist groups. Through Virginia and North Carolina, very little violence was seen by the riders. Things went as close to plan as the riders could have wanted. In Atlanta, Georgia, the groups split onto two busses, with the hope to meet up in Montgomery, AL. (“Freedom Rides”) At 11am on May 14, 1961, the first group left Atlanta on a Greyhound bus towards Montgomery, AL. The group of seven freedom riders was headed by Joe Perkins, and was followed by two journalists. (“Freedom Rides”) When the bus arrived in Anniston, Alabama, they were greeted by a Klu Klux Klan leader, William Chappel, and an angry mob. “The contrast could not have been sharper between well-dressed nonviolent activists and thugs armed with lead pipes and firebombs,” explained a modern writer of the Civil Rights Movement. The reaction met by the Klan was almost guaranteed at some point in their…show more content…
This encouraged the attackers. The KKK beat the blacks, including other innocent civilians that were simply in the wrong place at the wrong time. They were separated by KKK members sitting in the middle, beating any who dared move up front. In the station, riders were beat with lead pipes and cold fists. Within twenty minutes, it was over. This quick, but severe occurrence demonstrates the ruthlessness of Klu Klux Klan members of the day. With this, it ended violence in Anniston, AL. (Gross) It showed exactly what the riders didn’t want their mission to end up as. Nobody could have predicted the huge violence that occurred. Thousands of people ganged up against the riders, who were simply trying to enforce national

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