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so citizens you what sounds like wet when i was a child and it's disgraceful the way people had traveled in interstate are entrusted they were both equally bet your citizens united states and you can get on the bus sometimes in subsidies that the front of us except that the money that they were charging than they are in the box step back to the street go around to the back of us didn't get on the bus but she couldn't set in a place in front of the back stairway all he had to sit at the stairwell or pecan stairway that's disgraceful the other thing was that if you were traveling there were signed
to widen its color rain purple rain to talk about what it was like to travel from state to state second having to face an inadequate and almost impossible conditions if he needed a bathroom facility but he wanted a drink the water and didn't have my cup to drink water and it wouldn't drink out of no stick around without control a blue collar unwind in you wanted to be treated more so it was just so ridiculous a waiting room may have hit one being shy and if you know you couldn't sell wasted an unscrupulous that i'll like it and it but it was a long stay it was the most uncomfortable thing that you can
imagine and in some of our senior people who might pick to travel it was almost an impossible journey begun tracking something have the agility to move about like they want to and some tangential educate me conception and so traveling in the south was unconscionable and you may never be able to see what i can see raking and broken down so that no anything except what you hit with your if you get hungry and you're twenty anything to the heck you were captured but case the two broken for us it was usually fruitcake teens or something like that that i went to ten want to take it the food was get that we brought with this because active community there they wanted to try
him face me in the finale of that let him he looked at me and it doesn't look like you're just kind of thinking but it looks like it's like a solo how would the musicals won the oceans that small lewis who's better yeah you could just look across and say that they were way better and so are most of the time there might've been plenty of room for you to be comfortable at the huge trauma like you were trapped there but you couldn't go and the only reason that they could give culhane and let me that was the way it was in a mess and that's going to get some you know because my question isn't there so when you started out and say you know you could look across and see you know
cross the way folk section blue yet it was complete with lights lighting a decorative wall and even if there wasn't decor and the waltz the waltz ella mae and tile or maybe i'm was a it was a pleasant time for those people but not for us and it was hard to look across and see all of the amenities that they head and knowing that you couldn't have them because you're black or because you're colored at that time you know we've changed the titles of what we were personally so many different times but it was just not acceptable on everyday except there and i'm sure many others navigate if you can on the dissolute begin because you know there's a white people so we don't know who we're talking about so how was it for wealthy why people had everything they need
they can't eat what they wanted they could sit wherever they wanted to even if it's their space had run out the wait was it lingers because i know they won't sit in in the waiting room that were provided for four black vote as negroes but if there was anything that they get pushed that up and you had an availability of a thing you have to give it up with him to retrieve less than a person and that one on her and her arm and that from the time hours that you have to understand where i was and what i was doing was going until i was reaching we're adult it i was nineteen years old before i could take my place alongside other activists and say this can't be happening anymore we're not going to take it anymore well you were
innocent or you were what you know something i was still a spiritual way and i'm so confident from the time of the chao church was very important when i came in today and mitzi keep even see tv religious of backlog of this spiritual development for nato and so many other places a list emphasizes understanding and development if if if i don't get to tell them where his story i was pre pay a lot of mathematicians refer to alice in part to read various stories of people in struggle and how they came forward and so like concern is and always was it always will be that we took those stories ingest it and then up lap into our present day life
and with that it gave us strength and churches were packed prague and that mass meetings church services and people actually pray when you're negro spiritual in writing music to cuba is really such a sesame a living to me it's the stories that we're told are from or just it was the pittsburgh korea that was transported all of us that the pullman porters and that lesson that this thing because you get to know and understand what was happening in subprime can just know it's not them it's so i'm saying that the questions that are posed had not really given people an opportunity to really get to the nitty gritty a lot of what actually happened and what made you say if i don't stay here they had nobody else will because they will be able to we just did it well i do i want to be
ok so important that home so talk about being the the particulars of how and global initiative and i got invited allergan creating newspaper one day about how students at it north carolina i decided that if their money was kidnapped by the head of encounters in store and i think that that had made this fortune of name another name argument but in that though why isn't my money used to some extent how others interested in much tennis camp and i was interested in that he ate at and facilities because my mother really loved the arts and to take everything with the path we go to so i thought i was really interested she didn't deserve to that treaty kept it went like a fictional
light but i thought this has to stop as long as we accept it then it goes on but once you stop in sales no this is not the way like really is supposed to be and i'm not you know it's great for students to be here with friends people were not obligated to him about it let's go all we needed to do was ask our courses but if we went through schools like generations had before and just came out what would be our opportunity absolutely not and what would be our and richard olivier region that we had received a long way so i didn't know exactly what to do before they rosa parks or in a part of this but just thinking at that unity else clinton just did something to me and i thought we have to do something and they ended up to decay this is what we this is what we need to do
and we need to be more to get that then we are we have to try to do more you remember when you first yes i've heard her brought the freedom rides around nineteen sixty and it would be core the congress of racial equality i saw on the paper where they were going to test the the long promised the supreme court had decided that segregation in trouble with illegal end of the first times run the late fourteenth in a group of people went out the test and they were met with adversity and the second time it was nineteen sixty eight just turned eighteen and it's illegal
and so i doubt that this testing is really important and i wasn't the only one thinking that because so many people came forward so by the time the work was done to put a ride together and there it happened we were ready we were ready made chile and physically to challenge why the other states who were so determined to call themselves saw an upstate new city always be it then it was up to us to take those dreams dramatize the issue and make america stand up for what he had promised and so i felt that's it and when i talk to my friends that i met on the fried rice they offer up the same way it was like a way or wind that you didn't know where it
was coming from nowhere was quote that you knew you were supposed to be being nomadic asking nobody told me john larson have been teaching not balance financial or why and you're ready you had an ear for the region's rating was submerged in listening you submerged in being directed the submerged in finding a kindred bought any it was so what are just like putting nice to pray and thank you and that's one of the great moments of the story is knowing that you of course are so freedom rises you know they call it off and they got to go but then
the students come down from nashville come from everywhere you do those well i'll tell us think that i had read the stories about black folks i i grate that because of my mother's insistence about this but go in and how she'd point where he knew when and what all she did it and how she made some different people in those tested tested an outsider of history about when the underground railroad happened how people who missed that the people leaving to go you know kept coming to the spot where they were trying and this song was that people keep a coming even changed in town and i bought this is for us if we keep coming even have changed and the idea of finally get out that you can't stop them and i thought there was enough people who may go to the
bathroom like getting out of the car and sat the road not knowing what was in the bushes they could've been big and that state so you know about getting anything and i that was the most obvious would have to do something there and so instead of reading it in the newspaper and loading into it that i got one morning in may this round the latter part of me that last few days and i said to my folks who know i won't be back today because of the freedom riders then i said at two huge catalyst to start because my mom wouldn't say they just looked at me and i walked out of the house and i went to get on a bus with other korean radish to go to mississippi and that's what happened with the tree that had been protests in activities in central prior to the treatment but this was the most syrians time that the whole world faces yes really beautiful athletic
greens here is what happens what's going to happen in this film is that you know when was the freedom riots taught us to have a white dress white southern press is looking at one week but you got the black press which is looking at it but none of a different way so what was the importance of the black press and well what i always saw was it you wanted a real story the new rate of black paper the circulation may not have been as good and i thought about that a lot but why tempt us out without realizing what they were doing and one great example of that is in montgomery bus boycott they put on the radio these folks to get into dozens of airbag of didn't i really know if they hadn't been to church or so beauty shop or a barbershop or something got to hear because of his own radio and out the best way to disseminate news
about her to be in so that mate with every revealing be more successful but they never once realize that every opportunity to stop when she really the greatest effort to help us so that that's an important thing too that i've never heard anybody talking about but that happened and it's the truth if you just committed and investors not to long unanswered but the total of what about the significance of churches back in because churches you are still always really been important in and of significance was that there was a place where we can gather as a place for r not only our religious development and upbringing but it is a place where we can go here all of the great speakers and it was a place with the church in the black colleges they call an
htc used it but with the church and colleges we had an opportunity to really appreciate our art and so the church was really significant because if he brought in the church they really didn't realize that you were having such wonderful things maybe didn't realize the strength of the church and so people didn't put their funds that they hear in church and people organized in chairs the business and powerful place for black america said today it's received in end you know usually in one of things that that was that you would get in a life hell that the church was a place where you really think youre stripping and i always saw
it as a place where you could have all of these notions get loose and leave you thinking begins shouting was written today is he seemed in elements of days and in and i just felt like i always believe that you can to all week you just couldn't get out and i don't say thank you jesus be able to screen in the bat most do anything bad as i understand what you went through and so it was just arresting acts what about the church and then the liberals significance of the church is the spiritual peace that you talk about in this far to fix the churches were also you know he especially in those days you know fifty nine sixty sixty one when the freedom rides were these were really political watchers were very
very lulu for fourth i'm sure that we did have a moment where we taped scrutinize the various people who want a political office and recognize who with liberal and who once anti liberal oh really hit at the heart of the community with india friends and want to serve rather than to control will pour political and in the political arena you know elections but i mean you had martin luther king you know who was taught you know he was talking not only about the prize but he was also talking about freedom and leaving you know you don't see tv you have people were you know out there in the forefront of a movement and so i just was issued in the church you know that the churches as being in the
forefront i wasn't sure i was insured so important because it was the only gathering place that you could go to that was not control what that vision if you were a black church that was a separate entity from what the normal people or people in general may be anxiously that way about this being a play together nobody stopped her from going to church and every day the military picture that they can step it's going to be on church in these churches for run by the community and strong black ministers developed in and that the sermons in the exchanges then they were exchanged freely so this was a place is needed half the hat the casualties started again and into seconds can you know having the church leaders say the church was important because
the church was important because it was a place where you felt free enough to exchange what you need is to exchange yeah it is or not the crest of suppressed the ideas were accumulating with everyone else who was offering it is that it was the haven where these ideas grew into strategies and that's what i learned talk about so you have to go to a parent you know every writer you get on a bus we stand well you know we had our you know we get a pretty hit it on and it's also a fork in the sixth chapter or if the agents those phone maybe
like when it's this the six chat about it it goes on down to the first is that maybe vets thinking that if egypt in a way maybe the subject of osha had happened and repeat with head of the helmet of celebration the breastplate of righteousness enact these were shot with the preparation the gospel truth are less important because if you see yourself as a human being struggling and crawling in pushing and pulling no but if you see yourself as guards china and know that your child of the king you're here to disagree and you are black in unison trusteeship do i trust made to allow light me i do i trust god typically under the shadow of his wing and carried me from the beginning that when you embrace the kind of thing that crisis leads to christ
in your felony and we grew up on what scientists learned the ten commandments in the beatitudes saying the lord's prayer because that's the only real real prayer an annuity lived away our waste became you know we were doing so we're on a bus and was a first time so you will confront it was a week ago jackie had arrested well this is the strange thing you know when you're on the bus you're going on the bus and finally somebody medicine and then said that we were under escort that the taliban ministers are some wag the alabama a weekend update that montgomery greyhound bus terminal the fighting was happening that day but there were people who were just so angry about what they saw angry about
the bus and go into the station and the criticism community and we need to know whether somebody could come into september where they were but the song we shall overcome has affairs we're not afraid so you can't then you can get set in a frame of mind and that we wasn't week the freedom ride but when you're not afraid so that all of that prayer embrace dollop of snafus one of us then flees the sparrow and they they knew we were free riders said they didn't dare ask us that they did ask other people in a bus station if they were korean radish and then another thing on the bus engine leaving this country we were escorted by the montgomery alabama
retired national guard left to set a certain spot and we were supposed to be escorted by police that we got to the end of colonel from alabama michigan said we've gone as far with me as we came and you'll be picked up by mississippi baby you know we went all the way to mississippi from the pulpit they let the thing about it was they are and people looked at it so crazy it's so other writers maybe a bit by what they cannot do see are had any contact with the violence but it was the states and not knowing and then when we did get to mississippi whoa whoa what sets up we got out the bus and you were arrested and because we were supposed to be going in that waiting room cause we discover so you're exactly what would happily walk
into the new owner ray as anyone that worked for your mortgage and the police so it could lead our own city jail hinds county jail in allen's there in hines can you camp that twenty seven days terrible things happen in nigeria ahead to be alarming against their paperwork process and i noticed the most ridiculous way but it's harmful to you know let's go ins and steaks in gravel and then grips the women serving same thing most famous and being more so than in the great big grappling greatest days and then they it was comparable for instance there's twenty seven people twenty seven girls and i so enhanced county jail so we were hitting him
totally a crawl into their mattresses i really am so another thing that happens and i can see it right and we are on the corner block of the spirit and when santa and they allow it county public's been unwilling to come in an absurd you as though you were an animal in a cage it's you know it's like they were going to deserve and i remember is my mother was on less costly about reading and this region that relates to say iron bars did not a prison making of stone walls in that prison may nora iron bars kate and so i dont we can transport ourselves from here to where we want to be with that given about this silly smile at them it's one of the elements that i had learned from and battling teaching this day you
This record is featured in “Freedom Riders Interviews.”
American Experience
Freedom Riders
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Interview with Pauline Edythe Knight-Ofuso, 1 of 2
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Pauline Edythe Knight-Ofuso was a Student at Tennessee State University on the Nashville, Tennessee, via Montgomery, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi (Trailways) ride.0x0BMay 28, 1961
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American history, African Americans, civil rights, racism, segregation, activism, students
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Chicago: “American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Pauline Edythe Knight-Ofuso, 1 of 2,” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed May 22, 2019,
MLA: “American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Pauline Edythe Knight-Ofuso, 1 of 2.” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. May 22, 2019. <>.
APA: American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Pauline Edythe Knight-Ofuso, 1 of 2. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from