The Freedom Rides, 50 Years Later
Rep. John Lewis remembers the fight for Civil Rights.
- Grades: 3–5, 6–8
Freedom Riders boarded Greyhound and Trailway buses to travel across state lines in May 1961 to test a new law. The Supreme Court had banned desegregation on interstate travel, like buses and trains. Southern states were slow to take down "Colored Only" signs in restrooms and waiting rooms, however, and still did not allow whites and blacks to sit together on the buses or trains.
When Rep. John Lewis and other young activists, both black and white, tested the ban by riding together and staging sit-ins, they were beaten by angry mobs and arrested by police.
Today, Lewis is a Democratic Congressman representing Atlanta, Georgia. Recently, he sat down with Kid Reporter Henry Dunkelberger in his Washington, D.C., office to talk about his experiences.
Click play below to hear his story.
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