thumbnail of American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Julian Bond, 2 of 2
Hide -
If this transcript has significant errors that should be corrected, let us know, so we can add it to FIX IT+
sunil lead i do this thing and this maybe later so when they're well as as the freedom riders and the other thinking and others are trapped in the church in montgomery is this kind of growing frustration with the kennedy administration well there's a feeling that the kennedy administration wants to treat the civil rights movement generally the everyday worries particularly as an irritant these are people getting underway these people up setting our appliances are people who were take the attention away from what we wanted to make us pay attention things we didn't think we'd have to pay attention to sort of thing and sell that in turn creates is disillusionment the optimism that had enveloped the kennedys of that from election day forward began to diminish and it kept going down and down and alabama i think that at that point this and to me this is the sense of from the
freedom riders that that ok we have to force you to become one but the freedom riders i think particularly in the summers who generally says no the field i'm going to do the kennedys and i don't do the right thing they get to be made to do the right thing we got to create confrontations that force them to take sides are you with the right are you with the role and we will make some guy with the right it seems just as waterboarding and it seems that that that one of the things that happens is that the three fascinating is you know you have to the bus burning in england right in birmingham that that that the campaigns are still talking about the cold war still kennedy brothers john and robert were fixated on foreign policy domestic affairs were an afterthought for them and the source moves an
afterthought beyond an afterthought now all of a sudden chaos broke loose attention is riveted people are talking about this a world is watching and they're just so irritated they don't know what to do we can just want one thing that has fascinated me about that he and the young montgomery writes is that after the montgomery writes the attorney general of alabama come and is using injunctions against the freedom rides that there all beat up and now here you were the reason injunction john lewis who is somewhat thinner and mcgrath attorney general patterson comes too much of it the attorney general of alabama reads an injunction to an unconscious tang was lying on the street forbidding him from doing what he did that got him
beaten and no attention is paid to people be jealous or rendered him unconscious so even at that level they're trying to place the blame on the riders random the attackers it rises into a four four susan loses this is integration the attorney general of alabama reads an injunction forbidding john lewis and core making them cease and desist from bridges between free ride on john is unconscious on the ground just you know an actual reversal of what he should've been doing a show the advantage to the rider's the violent people instead the victims of england was say at that governor paterson john patterson had succeeded
his father as governor of obama's father been killed those assassinated and he loves every john patterson to succeed his father would then attorney general before him and then became mayor governor of alabama and he was a rigid segregationist and had to demonstrate to a segregationist constituency but he was good with elements like playing to his base and so he's not a given that she's gonna call the freedom riders names he's going to blame him for all the violence is going to do everything he can to cleanse the reputation of the reason why people of alabama and place entirely on these outsiders it seems though that the beckett that one scene of the year and why they do that that the freedom riders and carry out catering to thought they had a deal with patterson you've so safe passage by and it says something to me that the attorney general is waiting there an attorney general who
is reading this injunction but douglas a fashion to really come after my memory now passes agreement comes safe passage to mississippi there was a visa for the first eight passengers now you're right into montgomery so essential issues at the us government to iraqis who really resent you in montgomery and the riders and has beaten almost to death john lewis's lying unconscious on the sidewalk and the attorney general of alabama reads him an injunction forbidding corps and the writers from continuing on it says if all this has been their fault but the fault of the authorities who should've protected them and should the rest of the bad debt but no free or
gray thank you so much really set up this this is kind of the the mass meeting that happens next day long that you know that they did business huge mass meeting at school so we have the footage inside that only you know messed up as well to get the idea that that dr martin luther king flies in cinema church you know far farmer comes down and atoms and analysis huge thing that the next day the aftermath of the beating think that sort of set off his mastery of the day after the vote leaving after the great wrestling and robert and his church of the time king has moved away from my memory but he comes back to this a james farmer is they are the leadership of the embryonic student movement is the year that nation's air so here is a gathering
of all of the people who made this possible and some of whom are not sure about what the next apple to be but the young people carried the day because i intend to go out on one of the things that though that that that happens in an umbrella of the people were in the church can you tell a story after they act the next day after they get out in the next few days is that the young people in from from trying to persuade martin luther king that there's a poignant confrontation between people and articulating in which their asking him to go forward with them for montgomery onward into mississippi and hopefully under louisiana but he refuses and he claims that he can go because he's on probation and may these young people and probation through for jobs over her you know they've arrested many more times in the years ago it had arrested more jobs and he has of the future
they can understand this reluctance and i think this is the beginning of a dream and you issue of the respect that dr king was held under me that they turned their backs on by any means you still revered of beloved figure but he was revealed on her feet well miriam point during the year there's a confrontation in montgomery between the young people who carry the rides this far and martin luther king they ask him to go forward with them with them to go to jackson then onto new orleans where they hope to him the ride and he refuses and he claims it can go because he's on probation and they're incredulous because many of them on probation several times over they arrested more time today and will be arrested were times in a sense beginning i think of a little disenchantment with these
young people who don't want to see that he's not willing to take the risk they are and of course they're asking him to take risks that are probably greater than the year's because he's a known commodity and they're not he'd be a target in ways they would not win the same time alone distancing begins now between king of these young people was evasive that i could do but whether the defensive weapons is that they're you know after the church siege you don't pass it still ok you know he blames came blames the writers john townsend well these figures who says absolutely unreconstructed he will not be accommodating he will not give an edge he is mindful of where he is and who he is he's now obama elected official is selected by white people white people are biking a vote he gets elected by playing to white fears and white district prejudices and so he has to
maintain this posture and he will not get that he will not change oh you want to know that that martin says her to the church is that it is that paterson is really a responsible you're a high heel is one person responsible for for the violence for for for for forty years what's going to work but there's no way that that's that's a generous as a challenger who's on video depicting the people trapped in the church no that one person is responsible for this message on paterson the governor of alabama as the one figure right on the local scene you could've stopped it instead he's encouraged that he has disparaged the freedom riders use call them outsiders he's made them
responsible for everything that happened when in fact a victim there are people responsible so finally they did it finally they there is a deal struck at the freedom riders out about them and then the operator has made between the federal government robert kennedy and the most powerful man in mississippi james always on the senator who's the most racist member of the senate of the united states and the deal is this in exchange for violating in exchange for an agreement that mississippi will protect them from the age of elements of the border to jackson the federal government agrees that their constitutional rights can be
violent but that they could be arrested in jackson but under laws which have twice been invalidated by the state supreme court so in exchange for guarantee their safety their civil rights or bad at this point as you see in this agreement strangely it just as important ms yesenia turn turn joey arises robert kennedy agrees with james always known that in exchange for providing safety for the freedom riders there some words can be violated and they could be arrested in jackson peacefully and calmly under laws which have twice been invalidated by the us supreme court with his roommate know everyone's had no understanding of the soul killing anyone have any understanding of until years a year laughter and encountered this
is a chess game so these listeners isn't as always the rest you will live for us and encounters with the visa with no call for massive waves of rumors and what it was going for the little free riders react to this failure of mississippi to beat them which i'm sure later than expected but try another tactic analysis packing the jails in this case barred from state penitentiary so hundreds of people are recruited from around the country were volunteers around the country to go on a free ride and people both associate with poor and not a solution the core show up to the jackson bus station get arrested and get sent to jail and the freedom riders say when i don't pay bail when i get out or to stay here at least until the last day we can stay in jail and still appeal are our convictions and there were donated stuff on you as we can and try to make that does is as we rebuild the kind of cool difficult because i think that that's a huge thing that thing is that you know when
when when when the first group of people arrested and they say okay they call for more coal you know and when we don't like and i said you know what you know it's a huge thing to say ok we want one that would call for people to come from new york california michigan a food for anywhere near the top of the scope when the freedom riders finally make it to jackson where they're rattled relatively peacefully arrested and sons to participate than a century as a quick scan a subtle shift in tactics now they're going to focus on jackson on mississippi they show called for people from around the country to come and packaging olds and they do that their attitude is that it is also as one gigabit get a sense that
you have pictures of people in prayer vigils for the freedom riders as they were having fun raising that there's other ways that you know because his only you i mean there's only come and get arrested but that it becomes this connection with him that there are other ways that people participate in what's now this notion of freedom from live moment of the bus burning in beatings in alabama the fried rice become a national concern and national cause celeb and all over the country people are trying to do support of things not ironic ago but many people can give money that our rallies they get marches they didn't pick a big and all the things that focus attention on this and that makes the kennedy administration have to do something about it what sparked reforms does this one syllable about you know because one thing that happens is is this is the first as the only lived a few residents are demonstrating is that won't come you know
what was funny and say okay we're going to party palestinians also delays in america punishment and andrew kohut most famous prisoner in the country it was a plantation is a farm with a grew crops and the prisoners worked on the farm and the laborers just terrible its harsh sun forgiving and the place was feared if you got arrested mississippi you don't want to go there fb what is the year that the church seems like it was a business out negotiation going on you know while you were trapped in the church's among outside of people are you know upstairs and there's also these negotiations are going on which we are ok
and martin luther king that well the church is under siege and this is see joe raving mob outside turning cars over burning cars from out of cocktails and of the church fighting with the marshals keeping the crowd out of the church where the king and robert kennedy or in a screaming shouting match with the king asking the attorney general to uphold its responsibilities and kennedy i think all three reasons why he can do this you can do that and eventually he has to give that he has to do something to save these people and all the kale and you know the head of the national guard comes to the church sees as the alabama national guard and it actually is going to be what is announces that he was ok listeners here you know for you know work for free to go
out to go back inside the risk there of rednecks who is also salutes of takes over and has now taken over from the federal marshals and the people's the first innocent to me people in the church in montgomery been protected by this tiny band of marshall's who really aren't equal to the mob that gathered outside the mine has almost breaching the front door and damn all of a sudden the alabama national guard has mobilized and they come and they disperse the mob and the people say boy this is over we go home of course the guard keeps on inside the church until early the next morning they had to spend the night there sleeping on the pews and on the benches and i have no idea why they do this but they do so sweetie little
more about that because they were so so so there's really think the rescuers were getting good at that that that that that he's with the alabama national guard that they were taliban that they you know probably weren't wisconsin has two in there that you thought they were rescued people inside the church are eventually save from what problem would've been a massacre by alabama national guard the alabama national guard is mobilize they disperse the mob outside replace the marshals have been trying their best to defend it and the people inside say well we can go home now but to their surprise and heartache they discover the bayonets pointing at them and they're kept inside the church until the early morning hours if you want to the freedom rides do a couple of things they accomplish the integration of interstate facilities did something to supreme court decisions could not do
they created a national reputation for an organization which of their rounds of fighting for his economist rich equality but all of a sudden it's won the big players now with the nw cp that sclc with sncc it becomes one of the major sports organizations of the country it did demonstrated there's a new militants among these young people they're willing to tell the pres the united states when i go to do something just because you tell us to really do what we think is right so it does all these things and it involves more people in the movement i just a couple hundred who come to jackson to go to jail but people around the country who have somehow support role become engaged in supporting the freedom riders and over land into something else do i promise you this we left arm i swear i want to tell me if you know there's one thing the skinny one thing pull out one of
those churches legitimate the use of civil disobedience to change social policies in ways i don't think these sedans did they use federal law to say we have are a to do these things and in the end they won that rate and let's get some to go he's busy season
American Experience
Freedom Riders
Raw Footage
Interview with Julian Bond, 2 of 2
Contributing Organization
WGBH (Boston, Massachusetts)
If you have more information about this item than what is given here, or if you have concerns about this record, we want to know! Contact us, indicating the AAPB ID (cpb-aacip/15-ft8df6m38q).
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).
Race and Ethnicity
American history, African Americans, civil rights, racism, segregation, activism, students
(c) 2011-2017 WGBH Educational Foundation
Media type
Moving Image
Embed Code
Copy and paste this HTML to include AAPB content on your blog or webpage.
Release Agent: WGBH Educational Foundation
AAPB Contributor Holdings
Identifier: barcode357645_Bond_02_SALES_ASP_h264 Amex 1280x720.mp4 (unknown)
Duration: 0:23:04

Identifier: cpb-aacip-15-ft8df6m38q.mp4 (mediainfo)
Format: video/mp4
Generation: Proxy
Duration: 00:23:29
If you have a copy of this asset and would like us to add it to our catalog, please contact us.
Chicago: “American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Julian Bond, 2 of 2,” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 20, 2024,
MLA: “American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Julian Bond, 2 of 2.” WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 20, 2024. <>.
APA: American Experience; Freedom Riders; Interview with Julian Bond, 2 of 2. Boston, MA: WGBH, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from