Veterans Of The Freedom Rides Tell The Story Of Challenging Racial Segregation In The South

05/16/11 Robert Lorei
Radioactivity: Live Call-In (Friday)

Good morning, welcome to Radioactivity. I'm Rob Lorei. Coming up today we'll meet three veterans of the Freedom Rides. Tonight on PBS a new documentary premiers that looks back at the Freedom Riders and their efforts to desegregate public accommodations in the South.

Our guests are Kredelle Pettway, Dave and Winonah Myers who now live here in the Bay area. 50 years ago they were young college students. They were all Freedom Riders. Prior to May 1961 a U.S. Supreme Court decision prohibited segregation at interstate public transportation facilities - at airports, train and bus stations - but segregation remained the law in the deep South- in violation of the Supreme Court's decision. People of color were supposed to abide by segregation and not defy it.

Freedom Riders challenged the tradition by drawing attention to the reality of Southern living. They got themselves arrested. Then they clogged the jails. Eventually the government was embarrassed into enforcing the law.


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