In 1961, hundreds of young people gathered in the South, white and black, to stand side-by-side in deliberate defiance of the region’s segregation laws. They countered mobs, physical assault and imprisonment with non-violent protest and deep belief in the ethos of racial equality.
But the story of the Freedom Ride is not only about the South. Hundreds of riders who had never before crossed the Mason Dixon line, whose lives were not directly affected by Southern Jim Crow laws and institutionalized segregation, traveled from the North to be part of the Freedom Ride. They returned with stories that drew continued attention to ongoing civil rights violations in the United States.