The Columbus-Lowndes Public Library is hosting the exhibit “The Freedom Rides: Journey for Change” exhibit this summer from July 5th to August 24th. The exhibit details the struggle for racial equality through the interstate transportation system.
The exhibit is a part of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History traveling exhibits program and includes individuals of different cultural backgrounds journeying through the Deep South attempting to change practices that were legalized by the United States judicial system.
On May 4, 1961 the first Freedom Riders left Washington D.C., on two buses headed for New Orleans determined to challenge segregation on buses and in bus stations throughout the Deep South.
The journey was organized by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). On May 24, 1961, the buses rolled into Jackson and the Freedom Riders were immediately arrested upon attempting to use the segregated facilities. They were charged with breach of peace and many riders made the decision of “Jail, No Bail”. By the end of the summer, hundreds of Freedom Riders had been arrested, jailed, and sent to Parchman, Mississippi’s notorious state penitentiary.
“The Freedom Rides: Journey for Change” was sponsored by the following organizations: the Mississippi Department of Archives and History, the Foundation for Mississippi History, Mississippi Humanities Council, Mississippi Historical Records Advisory Board, and the National Historical Publications and Records Commission.
For more information about this exhibit or the traveling exhibits program, contact the Department of Archives and History at 601-576-6800.
To find out more about the exhibit while at the Columbus-Lowndes Public Library, contact Mona K. Vance at 662-329-5304.