Photo credits: The Associated Press
On May 4, 1961, the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) staged its first “freedom ride” out of Washington, D.C., through the Deep South in efforts to challenge racial segregation.
Although the Boyton v. Virginia Supreme Court ruling integrated interstate travel, strong opposition against integration remained in the South and violence kept the races divided on buses and trains. CORE decided to attack segregation head-on with the rides.
The organization sent a group of seven Black and six white activists who rode on a bus together in defiance of local laws and customs. The riders endured considerable adversity in efforts to make the trip, including being severely beaten and eventually having their bus burned (Aziz, 2012).
The “Freedom Rides” demonstration was support by a number of national figures from the Civil Rights Movement.
Reference: Aziz, N. (2021, May 04) This Day in Black History: May 4, 1961. BET.com. https://www.bet.com/news/national/2012/05/04/this-day-in-black-history-may-4-1961.html
*BlackThen.com writer/historian Victor Trammell edited and contributed to this report.