May we never forget the courage and sacrifice of the Freedom Riders. Firebombed Freedom Ride bus in Annison, Alabama, on Mother's Day, May 14, 1961. Photo courtesy of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
The Freedom Riders, Then and Now | History | Smithsonian.ohn Lewis, then 21 and already a veteran of sit-ins to desegregate lunch counters in Nashville, was the first Freedom Rider to be assaulted. While trying to enter a whites-only waiting room in Rock Hill, South Carolina, two men set upon him, battering his face and kicking him in the ribs. Less than two weeks later, he joined a ride bound for Jackson…..read more
These are the mug shots of the Freedom Riders as they were arrested in 1961. Most of them were sent to the brutal Parchman Prison in Mississippi. These are only 32 of the 400 riders who fought for Freedom.
Her name is Winonah Myers and she was a white student at the historically black Central State University in Wilberforce, Ohio. Arrested for being a Freedom Rider, she stayed in Parchman for her full 6-month sentence, the only Freedom Rider to serve a full term. "I felt there should be a little historical footnote that for sitting next to a friend on the (bus), this was the punishment meted out," she added. "I didn't think it would be recorded if no one had done the time." said Myers, 69