Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Freedom Riders - A Powerful American Story

If you've missed PBS' American Experience's episode "Freedom Riders" I'm certain that you will have a chance to catch it again on your local PBS affiliate. If you do have an opportunity for an encore viewing by all means don't miss it! This month is the 50th anniversary of this monumental Civil Rights protest. 

One of the most moving periods in the 20th century, involving some of the bravest young men and women in the history of our country is not only worth seeing, it is worth remembering. The stories of the commitment of these non-violent warriors, determined to see their country live up to its democratic principles, fighting against the systemic injustice of segregation, oppression, state sponsored and state sanctioned terrorism is worth seeing and worth remembering. 

If you are unfamiliar with the heroes of this movement, you will be inspired by the courage of James Farmer, James Peck and Diane Nash. 

Nash, at the age of 22, a Fisk University student and head of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), took up the cause of the Freedom Riders when the protest nearly fell apart because of  viscous violence in Birmingham, Alabama. Nash's sterling leadership would propel her into a significant, if largely (and unfortunately) unsung role, among the Civil Rights leadership of the '60's. 

I hope you have the opportunity to see 'Freedom Riders'. We owe it to ourselves to know this story!

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