Freedom riders Favorite 



May 4 1961


Southern US

The first legislative victory of the Civil Rights era was obtained by hundreds of people going where they weren't invited. In 1961, Black and white Freedom Riders, well trained by SNCC in nonviolent action, rode Greyhound buses from Washington DC southwards primarily in order to wait, together, in waiting rooms that were still unconstitutionally segregated. After six months of arrests, violence against them, and international embarrassment for the Kennedy administration—during which they were urged to cool it by Martin Luther King as well as Robert F. Kennedy, and always refused—the government finally outlawed discriminatory seating on interstate buses and in terminals. 

Lunch-counter sit-ins and other well-known civil rights actions were also classic trickster tropes—though in a different form than they've appeared before or since.
Posted by Andy Bichlbaum on

Staff rating: 

Indeed obtained the first legislative victory of the civil rights era

Featured in these Galleries