Organizations honor Freedom Riders 62 years after historic event

Published: May. 16, 2023 at 12:28 AM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - The Birmingham community came together Sunday to honor those who bravely fought for equality during the Freedom Rides more than six decades ago.

The civil rights leaders endured violence in Alabama as they sought to integrate transportation.

It’s been 62 years since Black and white activists loaded onto buses and headed south in the pursuit of equality fighting against Jim Crow segregation laws.

Coined as freedom riders, they were honored at the Greyhound Bus Station in Birmingham Sunday.

“1961, May 14th, Mother’s Day Freedom Riders left Atlanta... firebombed bus in Anniston, assaulted and beaten in Birmingham,” said Philip Howard, program manager of the national environmental non-profit, the Conservation Fund,

Howard said of the original 13 men and women freedom riders, seven Black and six white, only two were still living at the time of this event.

“We are here to honor them and let them know how much we appreciate them,” Howard said.

The event included first-hand accounts of the violence the group encountered during their journey.

“It’s important to honor the past. I think it’s important to honor the people who put their lives on the line so that we could have a better America today,” Howard said.

Get news alerts in the Apple App Store and Google Play Store or subscribe to our email newsletter here.