Fifty years ago the “Freedom Riders” boarded busses to Mississippi as a first step to stop segregation in transportation and lavatories. It was a small group of black and white young people trained in non-violence who risked their lives and forced the Kennedy administration to take action about segregation.
On May 17th a documentary film commemorating their bravery will be aired on PBS’s program “The American Experience.” Even if you know about the “Freedom Riders,” watch this film. It is deeply moving to witness the sacrifices they made to overcome deep-seated racial hatred and violence.
Young peaceful protesters in many Middle Eastern Countries are in the streets, crying out for freedom from oppressive dictators. Many have already given their lives. Americans are again on the march also. Protests to protect their right to collective bargaining, to make choices about their own bodies, the treatment of immigrants, profiteering corporations and other infringements of rights and freedom. Change comes with commitment, action and love. Gramma Sez “let our united hearts be the voice of our society.”
The film premiers on PBS on May 16th at 9pm/8pm central. Go to http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/americanexperience/freedomriders/ for more information.