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lee's they nest is what were the free rat was the purpose of the first realize dc the purpose was to demonstrate dufur the framers was demonstrated blind people could travel throughout the south and then the great inflation or something awful what happened to the message tries at really sure if the people of course are this would be a smooth deal of the little trouble here there is on our work but and the idea was to test the interstate commerce commission was a field a mystery and the idea was to test the court decision unwanted case and see whether or not black people really could go on interstate travel about it the significance of the wanton cases because i'm told that refer to your account came on the heels of the army morning as well gary morgan chase is
interesting to me because she really is the first rosa parks and she you know she says in her memory that she had the policeman was trying to grab a buzzer number of their place hours love that but she was a wrestler bus in virginia for violin the center's last to pick a supreme court warmer place and you would think of an animal the world that black people couldn't ride a blazer want you were said to have been born tim geithner is going to be from selma was also arrested lord howard reston virginia going home for a while in the segregation laws once the supreme court decided its favor again is on a black people consider riding doesn't want to have a good map and this was they're going to some of the elders or they want to get that didn't want it was was a nineteen sixties soul right on the heels of that comes
right there that was born in case nineteen sixty the us declared the black angus and where we wanted to travel or core issues on we can say where we want to interstate travel but didn't help but that was a spur for the freedom rides farmer james farmer who was the like or knew about the early journey of reconciliation a deeper debate and then when i do it again it will follow would you describe the different ways essentially a corporate didn't know when they went down with someone would think that that kind of fascinating to me is that it seems that that that that in some way right core new that they are that they're maybe violence and it's at noaa me it's gonna win win situation you and if you can go that can sue everyone knew everyone but also you have fears of violence well the free
rider think typified one of the standard contradictions within this awards moon on one hand it's non violent does the head back when hit on the other hand they're really courting violence in order to attract publicity that will for the cause and so you have these mixed motives let's hope nothing happens nobody's hurt on either hands or something does happen would lead an ironic way be good for us so you know my impression is that people at court thought maybe some bad things will happen but i don't think they imagine anywhere near the kind of level of violence and that meat and allison birmingham and in my memory i want to stay in that time you know i didn't know you i don't think they had any notion of the kind of violence they
would they would be that no idea of how high level of violence for hours on one thing though that the mayor's action is still looking at it done and joe says booker's morning just kind of and you know and he does it is it is it is james farmer and that that's one of the things that that if that you know for one it was it was just so much good when we did that was what that you like the ocelot and to establish core unit that those kind of you know jockeying for position if you love those positions in the civil rights movement and in some ways you know you really felt that the court may have been the leader in some of these direct action think mcallen getting its credit and some a few miles away the deposition court differently in the civil rights and oh absolutely you look back on the competition between the group's guide to king's sclc
best known probably because of him bmw soupy the oldest but not one considered to be on the cutting edge the student well according to me really barely known outside of its own members and core which have a longer history going back to the early nineties forties had pioneered and that rejection all over the country but again was not a household name and i'm positive that farmers thought among the other benefits of this freedom ride would be an elevation for core because a vision for these groups means everything to be the money it needs support it means that you get to sit in the counsels of the vote governor jim you depressed the joy that comes with a blue state and ensure farmers hoping for some public sure you surprised at the level you got good question listen to your activism loses of about the story is is you know it will take a greyhound control is when nine you know institutions you know
is the boss you know you know grandma is a lot about religious about greyhound and trailways policy of their complicity is it in what they're saying well all of these companies even the bus come to montgomery maintain they were powerless to change these are the practices letter city or state laws globally to do about it and granted for always acted the same way regardless of whether that they wanted to change their policy they refused to do so and they say refuse along the law and workers didn't want to put themselves in a better situation with their white pastors who surely would object of those occurred so they had this the benefit of a blaming state law on their refusal to do that right i get to do that again in one of the things that's a little confusing and it really pointed out there
feeling was was that the settlers in in in in the same thing in terms of of the morgan's decision the boynton decision that that that although the federal law had changed there are still state laws that outlines a yuri is actually coming to over and over again and the freedom riders that you know a book doesn't leave now we have to get ahead of the federal benefits that affected that even though the one case of in one more educated than one that the federal laws have changed that there was state laws and then an n and maybe he can well you have this tool supreme court decision effectively as a black people can sit where you want to travel with no state and to celebrate these decisions so lovely never happen so the greyhound bus company the trailways bus company were able to hide behind the failure of state law or
the refusal of state law to accommodate a federal law so despite the fact that you have these national rulings which should have been law every place in the country they weren't in alabama georgia florida across the cells business as usual do you think you are robert shiller more natural growth than four brolin george clooney reversed it could well actually this does give you a sense of it is what it is you know the whole thing is we do it will where's the lettuce in the back of a bus is olivier you know and hayes was about what it was that what what it meant what it meant to travel it just itches they travel in the senate because why was it so that when i'm out and disagreements ultimately got on a bus at the gunman
trying you're instantly relegated to second class treatment is set in the second glass waiting room to catch that the hero who stood before a segregated ticket window to get in the way that it was when someone knocks on the other and we thought what we were doing here before you get treated when he got on the train and the bus and you sat in the back and the trainer was really awful because it really was the car right behind the engine so all the dust and so the song went to no air conditioning filthy dirty of the toilet facilities just awful it just meant you were a person who were treated like a regular person armor walking through the national train station with my mother i was a kid and my older sister and i were about five six years old and my mother saw by policemen and she was told this is the later section as you say you call me a mentor and i think he was so surprised because there you stood back and we just for you go through but you know i was a kid
but this hit home to me how awful this was how terrible this was somebody called my mother a name like that ms ba i want to talk a little bit about the training session that that third of the first writers and underwent a lot about it and we sing the truth mccarthy when gene was doing it so the goal of the training sessions were typically when the sit in movement started nineteen sixty they underwent the same kind of training and nonviolence that the freedom riders did and that was to hold a mock city on the march occasionally are pretending to be integrating some facility and
other people are pretending to be the white opposition and using rolled up newspaper in bowling cigarette smoke in air in iran face i shouting yelling calling all kinds of names trying to get you accustomed to the idea that you're going to a situation where violence was you know just around the corner we're where danger was imminent so the framers did the same sort of thing under with the same sort of training and you know you have to think that of all the old ways you can do to prepare yourself for heaven knows what so you're going to pick well in the festival anything there that that the freedom riders and what we're going to expect from steven kennedy administration there was enormous optimism with the election of john f kennedy lee young personable attractive in his wife became america's favorite
couple he appeared to be friendly and disposed toward people of color so your expectation so you know worried mothers of it will you create a theme of the day when john f kennedy was elected there was a general feeling that great things would be ahead this a personable guy a personable wave young guy seem to be more in tuned eisenhower had been he was older and stodgy and republicans and so there's great hopes that new things will happen over time has turned out not to be the case but initially you so no we're going someplace now
things are gonna change were optimistic these farmers say no but i understand the james farmer of the head of course sent letters to the president is dead but i understand the james farmer the head of course no sir i understand the game's farmers some letters to present convey to attorney general kennedy to the fbi to the head of the trailways bus station the company the greyhound bus company received not an answer from a single one in essence he's saying listen we're going to do this and we're going to travel to the suburbs like when a baby segregation laws were in trouble under the protection of the federal law and so you have to be alert that something bad might happen out of one answer so in a year as the
social effect of the federal justice department fbi is he does not have this kind of watchful eye over the freedom and the lead apparatus that was supposed to protect citizens in this case the fbi paid no attention out of this and should have known that enormous violence was going to happen if anyone should have no mention of known but they just turned a blind eye to at a point i don't imagine they paid any attention to until the violence actually occurred one of the things that the voices of the jfk it was more solid more interested in foreign affairs or you know the bay of pigs it just happened is about to go see khrushchev that that was really what will it was a little about why there was no home for the freedom riders were also hit at this point you know and in the
first ever sixty one there's not this great interest in civil rights from a convenient you're very telling moment in the early part of the freedom rides i think after birmingham when robert kennedy says we should be mindful that the president is about to embark on a mission of great importance mean he's one of the cruise ship and we should not all behave in a way that breaks credit not destroyed our country of course the freedom riders were to bringing disgruntled the country they were you know running into people's i get me beat me or they were being attacked for buying a lot for pursuing law four percent but it demonstrates to me at any rate the i look at of the kennedy administration anything about foreign affairs the thing about our position in the larger world i had no idea that what's happening on the freedom ride lessons and diminishes our our position in the world and said they think it's as some troubling to make go away by talking about it that's your question the freedom riders are part of the
tunnel toward the early nineteen sixties sixties sixty one percent in first in the three words that make the kennedy administration forced the kennedy administration to turn its attention inward they can't just pretend that nothing's happening here they can't just walk away they can't lecture the freedom riders and said don't do that you're making us look bad people beating them and the kennedy administrations forced to change in its entire method of operation that becomes interested in storage not interested in love with interest in the stories and the concentration on foreign affairs begins to diminish don't go away the advantages of it they're going to make a joke here to bunk i want to live out will come in and so you know what well we've got here is from the riders kind of i
will come to some of the framing of the rise of just as a joke so as the rightful into burning as a writer's leave iowa and i would say as well as a financial reasons you go into bull connor character a little bit about the rise and going to this place where you will come when the grid gruver of national students pick up the rafts and go from nashville to birmingham they're going into a city which is literally a police state without a police state the new york times wrote a wonderful wonderful piece about those demonstrating that this literally was a city controlled by police forces spies you know the listeners all kinds of police tactics to suppress any kind of dissident all this is unique in american cities the worst city in the country for race ruled by one of the worst
figures in american history ball collar connor who must've been some kind of psychopaths just rabbit on the issue of race in the worst kind of position to be in raben of the race because he was in charge of policing georgia public safety fresh over and said you know he was in charge of public safety of such an unsafe manner oh well there's a sense that we don't know for sure is is that is that is a car strikes a deal the court though those first lesson with the first rhymes you can vote for the clan mark it ended in birmingham the policeman agreement with the klan course many of the police were themselves klansman the main agree with the clan that you have fifteen minutes to do what you will with these people and the police will not interfere and if you do get arrested for
something will make sure that your punishment is mileage won't spend much time in jail will look the other way and accord mayhem ensues awful awful bloody mayhem well a couple get along translate into where we either fill the nsa sees his bus going down the room you know this is going down it's no one there was already been on the only in the sense that this was going to bring a socialist rally you know that this was going and they don't know that writers were jewish so the trailways bus the people on the trailways bus going into birmingham don't know that the greyhound bus has been burned in anniston outside anniston and the riders are sitting on the side of the road you know covered in
blood so they're going into a city which is the worst city for race in the whole united states it's literally as a police state and it's run by a man who must have been assigned o'connor was a commission of public safety and fred shuttlesworth said why would they allow safe to be in the hands of a man who saw himself and say you just pathological nature of reason had made an agreement with the klan the police and the client new record please themselves or question that they do have fifteen uninterrupted minutes to do whatever they want to do the freedom riders please a lot of fear and if by chance they are rested their punishment they receive will be tremendously mile or spend less time in jail and so they are allowed in fact encouraged do their worst and they do great things one so does the quick simple about the roll out of the fbi and maybe not
in birmingham but just in general you know here you know that that the idea that you wear jay was where where was he dugger court have you seen the book about the guy who is the klan and former get rowe enterprises rohit agree is a maniac and eleven and he's leaving them as well as as the rides developed public consciousness after the burning of the bus in anniston and the beatings and birmingham the fbi is displaying a peculiar role the one hand they have an informant of the clan who has himself a cheer himself a poodle a third gear france's role and he is leading the beating at the bus station to see him in photographs the pitcher prisoner birmingham paper because as fbi handler and says the slum a lesson we got you into dallas you're just tell people it's not do we
dont you so they're all you're fomenting this violence and pretending to control at the same time they're playing off a roll with satan in many of these cases they tended to be observers of violence not people who are stopping violence you expected them to do that the j edgar hoover kept him on a tight leash fb it is that as if residents know that it is a good marriage how mr gary thomas you're ok so why why why we gave you this way he was going to you know he hasn't aged agents analysis of someone who never met but he seemed to me as a jew did you hate it engage an analysis of someone you've never
met been taking over seemed to me to be a psychopath in different kinds of ways he was tremendously interested in the sex lives of people who may investigated it saw black people were over sexed maniacs he was a desire to rap ravage white women here believe that everybody in the summers who was a communist or do both communist too smart understand that calmness were redeployed them or he was not a segregationist and a strict sense but someone who believed in separation of the races white black so he was ideally suited to the worst ride away for the job here which was ostensibly to protect people to defend long order as a result of that we do so what were you
when weston's international ideally suited to make up for you know when i show street movement was unique amongst youth movements it was the most deeply rooted in nonviolence but at this training going on almost a year before the sit ins actually began james lawson had been training them and nonviolence they won a victory they had integrated be at lunch counters are natural and they were tightly organized so the combination of these three things to organize victorious committed to nonviolence just made them natural people to pick up on the freedom rides or well it's a little bit about the ins with the question of just as she says follow in a bathing suit or no i think so you know one of things
that that you know that that that happens in the story is that that civil law school mr arcos yeah but then a shooter was a leader of the nashville student movement and she probably has a deeper commitment to nonviolence as anyone else and and really explore the philosophical backgrounds of nonviolence where's it come from what is it made of the work which is also strikingly beautiful and every man in this awards what was crazy about her every man in the source who wanted to be friendly with iran and so what did it do for you their bet than what you get those overnight the mayor yes the diane was relatively better known than most
of the other people in these local state movements because of the confrontation successful confrontation should have the mayor of nashville and forcing him to admit that he believed in their lunch on immigration he thought was right and i should make him do this so diane was better known than other people in the movement who are relatively obscure college kids wherever they were and she had this commanding presence just an attractive issue could be itchy is to somebody you want to hear more and to listen to shoot she made you pay attention to her without saying um important if you could just give me a sense this years has created this is only about what they envision this the commitment to the committee to change that that was incredibly attractive but it's a big mistake to think she was just a pretty girl she was also somebody deeply deeply rooted in nonviolence in the practice in
theory and the philosophy that was not just a tactic that she used when she was on the picket line it was something she deeply deeply believed in and she transmitted that leave to the rest of us who may not have been as either a familiar with or is willing to do this as a way of life for us it was something you did when you march he left the picket line left over thiele is this innovative
American Experience
Freedom Riders
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Interview with Julian Bond, 1 of 2
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Julian Bond is an American social activist and leader in the American civil rights movement, politician, professor, and writer. While a student at Morehouse College in Atlanta, Georgia, during the early 1960s, he helped to establish the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC).
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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 Julian Bond, 1 of 2,” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 19, 2024,
MLA: “American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Julian Bond, 1 of 2.” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 19, 2024. <>.
APA: American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Julian Bond, 1 of 2. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from