Freedom Riders Essay

Submitted By MeganYaeger
Words: 2692
Pages: 11

Megan Yaeger
PSC 201
11 November 2014
The Freedom Riders
Freedom Riders were activists who rode interstate transports into segregated southern states. The Freedom riders started their rides in 1961. They additionally rode into the southern states to backing up the decisions of the United States Supreme Court in many court cases ruling segregation unconstitutional. The Southern states disregarded the decisions and the federal government did nothing to help in the implementation of the laws. The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans at some point on May 17.
The Boynton case, which ruled that segregation on public transportation such as buses was unconstitutional, outlawed segregation in the restaurants and waiting areas in terminals that served buses that drove across state borders. About five years before the ruling, the Interstate Commerce Commission had issued a ruling in another court case that had denounced the Plessy v. Ferguson doctrine of separate but equal in interstate bus travel. The Interstate Commerce Commissioin failed to enforce its ruling, and Jim Crow laws remained enforced throughout the South.
The Freedom Riders tested this decision and poor implementation of the law by riding the buses in the South in blended racial groups to test neighborhood laws or traditions that upheld seating segregation on buses. The Freedom Rides, and the brutal responses: stirred outrage, and supported the Civil Rights Movement. They called national attention to the disrespect for and failure to follow the law and the violence used to enforce segregation in the south. Police arrested riders for trespassing, unlawful gatherings, and abusing state and neighborhood Jim Crow laws. The officers would frequently turn their backs and let the angry white mobs assault the riders without any kind of intervention.
The Congress of Racial Equality supported the greater part of the resulting Freedom Rides, yet some were organized by the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. The Freedom Rides emulated emotional sit-ins against isolated lunch counters. These sorts of peaceful protests were led by students and youth all through the South. They also established boycotts of retail establishments that remained segregated. This began in the year 1960.
The Supreme Court's choice in the Boynton case was for the right of interstate travelers to overlook the local segregation and Jim Crow laws. The state and local cops of the Southern states considered the activities of the Freedom Riders as criminal and would capture them and arrest them. In a few areas, for example, Birmingham, Alabama, the police got into an agreement with the Ku Klux Klan and angry whites that disagreed with the activities of the Riders and permitted crowds to assault the riders. The cops would watch yet not intercede until it was necessary or not at all.
The Freedom Riders were inspired by the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, headed by Bayard Rustin and George Houser. Rustin and Houser were both Civil Rights Activists who additionally tried and tested a prior Supreme Court deciding that racial segregation on interstate buses was unconstitutional, in the same way as the riders. Rustin and a couple of others of the Congress of Racial Equality were arrested and sentenced to serve on a chain gang with a group of convicts in North Carolina for abusing Jim Crow laws with respect to segregated seating on open transportation.
The first Freedom Ride started on May 4, 1961. Headed by CORE Director James Farmer. Thirteen riders left Washington, DC, on Greyhound and Trailways transports. Of these thirteen travelers seven were black, six were white, and among them were Genevieve Hughes, William E. Harbor, and Ed Blankenheim. Their arrangement was to ride through Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia, Alabama, and Mississippi, finishing in New Orleans, Louisianna, where they had arranged a social liberties rally. A large