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virginia which was a segregated town in segregated school system i i did not know any why people aren't i think through the array of workers that is good then virginia was a completely southern town segregated them public school system say we gave it and that was all i knew i did not socialize whatsoever with any persons who would be called white occasion whatever the case may be but peaches burt head the
normal five and dime store was christie's warfare center of the hat a salad at a time or twice a year the force against became citizens and i said it and when we think of episode is so you tell you know someone you know who has a lot of life won't you say he won't be essence of it you know what to say when was like groans quite frankly i'm really saying you know get you don't know what life was like you know you know the history they tell me you're a way to tell me there's a talented kid i want you to tell me the story about this is what was it what
was that thing what was so like me that i was a little one is their story is there something that happened to you you know in the seventies and the only thing that was growing up in the south korean petersburg do you specifically that really impressed me as a person of color in the ways that i couldn't go to the local public library without going to a college entrance those woman her name was mrs were and i think it's got a fun in a way this is where it was the black lab area that i like to go after the fact that the word was this is work we it many black
call it you know whatever i was at that particular time could not go into the stacks we would have to go to mrs word you know to say this is the book that i think i want to see and she wouldn't be going to the stacks of course on the other side of the building was the white entrance and i always consider that kind of funny i don't know that i was taught at a particular point segregation it just existed and you couldn't help but note that you couldn't go into again i have referred to the alleged terrorists but even even that the stores that sold on that you couldn't run them well i don't know that anyone ever taught me you just know your place yet if that's acceptable at it that it's it's nothing that was actually taught you
you just gamed it by osmosis if you will i love that idea is going to do it as a state back in the time that you find for years hey how are you oh i'm a liberal university supposedly you one of the premier black institutions in the country washington dc well it was not a segregated town in fact it was a very segregated
howard university as most people realize was a traditionally black institution the student body was essentially nine nine percent black and the city and started out and ginsburg national center on but here we were at this prestigious black institution that we couldn't do anything in washington dc however if you ventured across the potomac river into virginia law if you went across an imaginary geographic live in tomorrow and segregation existed in fact now i as a student at olive drab today if we had this prestigious institution what can we do it what was it he got to put up a picket line into wearing dc because segregation was outlaw so we started out
i as the cotton the same family issued role we formed at ru and renamed also is a non violent action group met bob scott a funny yet the diary or because our effort was to neck segregation we started out in arlington virginia drug fair trade chain of the drug stores sit ins at lunch counters you know it took us about two weeks before the hall chait and behold county collapsed so well we've got of victory what we do now we move over to maryland there is a there is a park which is now the national park give the nickel amusement park in clinical maryland at the time the dc
school system went paid to sing kids their white kids for recreation on their brackets get go we switched from arlington virginia to a clinic or maryland and them we went from there so one of the things they're their successful ones to give students at howard students around the country are shot and no one will put four that when do we see students at how it somehow felt that we could and we felt left out we tend to dissipate because obviously the people in nashville and the kids and i am other southern cities and over racial discrimination for our students
we felt we had to find that shot in the army if you will to go into virginia and to go into rural to take on the segregation that existed there going well and you know it worked the power of the vatican with all do respect you know when i a saw when i saw the burrito the bus in anniston and all the other you know it's over it's related violence if you will but i have to assume that it can only be described as youthful exuberance when i went on the freedom ride i honestly i didn't
realize the harms way that i was getting into this just when i knew that it was something that had to be done then in retrospect video i had certain if i would have been a lot and i would be is brave there's always been an absolute that explains my attitude but it's this like a kid who really doesn't know what you're getting into very well i work on the freedom right after the rat stopped at montgomery alabama
i'm not certain how high a recall how was contacted or how ive heard first knew that the rat was going to continue but the rat have already gotten as far as one can realize is after the berry and we as a liaison if you will with the student nonviolent coordinating committee committee knew that we could contact the guys in mansfield got contact ago the baptist people in the other porcelain colleges black colleges and and to this day i must admit perhaps because of asian and lack of memory i flew into montgomery
i don't know if it was sclc the southern christian leadership conference or hey how are particularly new washington dc for a long weekend as you know our news to say that it was more malawi good time i never got back our time i know again that he does but it what it walker who was the executive director martin dr king's sclc was my pastor at my church in petersburg virginia this is over a discount convoluted because i think it was the sclc who probably paid for a
ticket for me to get from washington to montgomery and as i say i thought it was merely for a long weekend i'd be back in class relationship or tension that existed between the chorus the old city only hit that one for you and i said now this is going to come over but nonetheless the relationship between sclc core snip i didn't even know about cool bottom sclc try to claim credit for what the students were doing and we had no relationship i am taller and i must admit
the state simply i was a part of the inner circle of the students i had no knowledge whatsoever of the financial backing of core or sclc i do know that at one wants you know we receive some fines from sclc sclc of course he used the churches and that the church that work and they claimed credit for what the steelers were doing but believe me we were all we were not tethered that would be a snake there about it was independent i mean the eternal those cattle cannibals that's what snake wants everybody was independent anybody doing their own thing
so so when we made the size of unocal well yes hopefully they're well the only thing i can say is that we communicated and it wasn't like you know we got on the phone and said and today we're going to do this it was almost like today we did this after the fact and each of us reacted it was not as if it was a planned activity it was like oh that's you're doing and if we were to pick up a pub johnson publication it jet magazine ebony magazine excuse me whom we would say what their daughter was going there wasn't as if we had a fax machine and that was important you know
anthony geary hearing that that there was going to be a call put out for others might need to go on is that our worker i came into that i dont know they're going to remember when the idea came to continue to rise well i think that's the same question i think this is a question i'm actually do not recall how it individually became aware that the rat must continue and that you know he has the plane ticket i didn't bake for that plane ticket and they knew that i should go to montgomery and nearly knew that after getting to montgomery where i should go and appear
baum then the planning for the particular bust that i was too long i had no no involvement whatsoever on in and buying that ticket you're a pal robin montgomery and i went to i believe it was a dentist on the whole the dentist all of us to him you get there were to take the bus when you learned that the bus on the next day i am i can only say that again youthful exuberance really at least at my age at that particular time in
we didn't realize what were routine jeopardizing our lives our mom was this one is indelible on the bus ride from montgomery to jackson and most specifically what we head to the alabama mississippi state i looked there were three helicopters hovering the entire bus tour there were national guard's persons or national guardsmen on the bus my memory says that they had been that's where all on their rifles they stood in the i know that i must admit i did not work on this particular guy whether or not those big and that's where she had not
what's what's specifically at standing aside from the three helicopters that had to be the alabama highway patrol but i i still visualize at least four highway patrol cars in front of the bus the same number in back of the bus but more importantly when we get to the state line there was four hundred yards at least cop so once that it the alabama cops and whatever that imaginary state line was
then there was the mississippi cops on the other side of the year to me it was just a display out of raw power i am i didn't know if they were gonna protect us but it got lots of the deluge you that you that they see boys exhibit of day everybody was why don't get along by botulism are not isn't that as a realistic philosophical what they it was a tactic is obviously a big appetites that got the guns or bennett at the all thing i think i thought i was i'm just glad that the press is here wearing this mainly because of that that
if there were if there were no press that i couldn't pay back a destroyed us that and that all this power let's do you know out here ostensibly protect us and so no i thought well what it is but only but only the press you know kind of baby you realize that you know i think i feel somewhat safe yes ultimately it was approved the white black people couldn't couldn't ride together you know if you saw but now you're all of us no no no and all passengers other than the freedom riders and the national guards people of god and even the freedom
riders we sit with one another i mean if there were nine people or ten people tim freedom riders who want we didn't congregate with one another you know we just had to say you know it will obligate or looking out the window at bodies bassa display now and we wanted to talk to one another they kind of defeat the purpose what was the he was also the youngest now this game is no other people on the bus who injected an object that is matt you've got national guard helicopters and they say now it's proven something else i think you know about who is anything is an alabama mississippi can protect the law you go across the state is not proving that you could ride your
camera roland has finally won i think we rolled into mississippi on the rolls out of alabama cuba if you will i can't say that we really realized what we're not that age differential all the entire freedom ride period maria was quite different what us with me it was mostly nineteen to twenty twenty one years of age kids on was it so it student nonviolent coordinating committee on i once again will use the term youthful exuberant
i'd certainly truly realize the historical impact and the historical nature of what we would do it at the local level a southern alabama mississippi it up here and metabolic what the dc we realize that and for more about what happened when you got to go for one actually get jackson was that way where you are sure i remember stuff about the bus i can still recall the face of the policeman who stood there waiting for us to disembark and essentially said you cannot go into this waiting room it the white waiting room at the bus station
we were trapped for that but i actually don't recall sitting in on any particular class prepping us from that particular activity but nevertheless that that particular sheriff yeah baby and his arm fifty years plus reda retirement age as succinctly said you will be arrested though we were i would take into the hinds county would it aligns county jail please thank you or waiting along with the pro europeans and the rest will you robin jackson when we were met
at the loading dock of the disembarkation doc as well and this police officer and he was in officer as opposed to merely a policeman advantages thomas if you track to go into that waiting area that is for whites only you will be arrested we were arrested because that's exactly where we went initially you we were taken to the hinds county jail hinds county is where the city of jackson it's situated thing friend it looked much shock and m room full of what they call the ball pit not in the not end not individual cells back down into a bullpen which may
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American Experience
Freedom Riders
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Interview with Dion Diamond, 1 of 2
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WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
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Dion Diamond was a student from Howard University on the Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi (Greyhound) ride, May 24, 1961.
Race and Ethnicity
American history, African Americans, civil rights, racism, segregation, activism, students
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Chicago: “American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Dion Diamond, 1 of 2,” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed August 9, 2020,
MLA: “American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Dion Diamond, 1 of 2.” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. August 9, 2020. <>.
APA: American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Dion Diamond, 1 of 2. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (WGBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from