The Freedom Riders Essay

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Nearly 200 years ago, after the signing of the Declaration of Independence, slavery was no longer allowed; but America was still segregated. Segregation in many public places continued especially in the South. At this time, segregation was legal. In 1892, the Supreme Court had ruled that a state could separate whites and blacks as long as the services were equal. On May 4, 1961, a diverse group of thirteen courageous individuals known as the Freedom Riders embarked on a bus journey into the South in order to challenge segregation in bus terminals. Although many individuals believed that segregation was wrong, many southern states continued to practice racial segregation. Racial segregation is the separation of humans into racial groups…show more content…
When asked by the driver why she had not stood up, Rosa replied that she did not feel that she should have to stand up. Parks said that she was tired of giving in. The police arrested Parks who was later released on bail. Rosa Parks became a symbol for the Civil Rights Movement by refusing to give up her seat and go to the back of the bus (Rosa Parks Biography). Although there had been a ruling by the Interstate Commerce Commission that blacks could sit wherever they wanted on buses that traveled through more than one state and the Supreme Court had ruled that segregation on buses was unconstitutional, blacks continued to face difficulties when riding buses in the Deep South. There were signs in southern bus terminals indicating areas where blacks were to sit. Separate restrooms were to be used by whites and blacks. In order to test these rulings and draw attention to the Civil Rights Movement, a decision was made to conduct Freedom Rides. A group of whites and blacks would challenge these practices (Freedom Riders). Those who wanted to be members of this initial group were asked to complete an application, include a recommendation from a teacher or pastor, and write an essay about their commitment to the civil rights movement. Those under the age of twenty-one had to have parent permission. Several dozen applications were received. The organizers selected Freedom Riders of various religions, ages, color, and areas of the

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