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This exhibition was created in partnership with the PBS series American Experience, producers of a two hour documentary of the same name broadcast in May 2011, commemorating the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides. The saga of the Freedom Rides is an empowering story of courage and commitment. During the first year of John F. Kennedy's presidency, more than four hundred Americans participated in a dangerous experiment designed to awaken the nation's conscience.
Despite two U.S. Supreme Court decisions mandating the desegregation of interstate travel, racial integration was forbidden by law and custom in much of the deep south. Inspired by visions of social revolution, these self-proclaimed "Freedom Riders" challenged the mores of a racially segregated society by performing a disarmingly simple act - traveling together in small interracial groups, and sitting where they pleased on buses and trains.
Demanding unrestricted access to terminal restaurants and waiting rooms, they were met with bitter racism, mob violence, and imprisonment along the way. But their courage and sacrifice over eight months in 1961 changed America forever.
Freedom Riders is a traveling exhibition developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Major funding for the traveling exhibition provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities. Exclusive corporate funding for AMERICAN EXPERIENCE is provided by Liberty Mutual. Major funding provided by the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. Additional funding provided by Lynn Bay Dayton, Rodger & Dawn Nordblom, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and public television viewers.
These efforts are also supported by: Cambridge Public Schools, City of Cambridge Youth Programs, the Cambridge Public Library, the Citizens of the World, the Young People's Project, Firelight Media and WGBH.
For more info check out: http://Citizensoftheworldblog.blogspot.com
When & Where
Citizens of the World
Promoting positive self identity in students and connecting them to the world around them