Group singing provided solace for Freedom Riders facing the constant threat of violence. It was also an effective political tool. "Without singing, we would have lost our sense of solidarity,” John Lewis says.
After deciding to participate in the Freedom Rides in May 1961, Jim Zwerg called his parents for support only to be told that he was “killing his father.”
The Freedom Riders represented a cross-section of America – black and white, young and old, religious and secular.
Janie Forsyth McKinney was twelve years old when the Freedom Riders came through her hometown of Anniston, Alabama in 1961.