Find inspiration in the story of a courageous band of young people, “Freedom Riders” on AMERICAN EXPERIENCE – July 2 at 11 pm

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American Experience

“Freedom Riders”

Sunday, July 2 at 11 pm

1960's Freedom Rider bus with smoke pouring from the door. Riders sitting on groundIn 1961, segregation seemed to have an overwhelming grip on American society. Many states violently enforced the policy, while the federal government, under the Kennedy administration, remained indifferent, preoccupied with matters abroad.

That is, until an integrated band of college students – many of whom were the first in their families to attend a university – decided, en masse, to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South.

They called themselves the Freedom Riders, and they managed to bring the president and the entire American public face-to-face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation.