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Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 7 months ago

Freedom Rides

My name is Michael. I am an African American. I am a preacher in a small town in the state of Mississippi. I preach in a small church called St. Josephines. I am 26 years old. I was involved with Freedom Rides when I was 22. It was 1961 when it started. In 1946 the Congress of Racial equality ( CORE).Said that segregation on buses and cars was unconstitutional. So a group of 6 whites and 7 blacks (including me) wanted to see if this law was still alive. So Tuesday (1961) we all got on a bus from Mississippi to New Orleans. My best friend Hugo was one of the African Americans group members too! We left at 8:00 in the morning.We all just sat down the bus driver didn't notice that us African Americans were sitting at the front of the bus. About 15 minutes into our trip we were pulled over by a policeman.They pulled over to the side of the bus and started talking to the driver. I heard the police man say why are "black men sitting in the front of the bus"? The driver said" what I didn't know that they were doing that!" We could all tell that he was very angry. He turned around and saw us. Then another policeman came into the bus and tried to get us of. Some of the white and black men got off, but Hugo and I stayed on with a few other black and white men. The policeman threatened to spray us with pepperspray.When he figured out that we weren't going to move he finally grabbed Hugo and kneed him in the stomach and then threw him off the bus. Then the policeman looked at me and said "now your next". I didn't want that to happen to me so I just got off the bus. Then the Policeman asked if the white men that got off wanted to get back on, but they declined. I asked what we were going to do he said that we had to walk. We were in the middle of the interstate we couldn't walk but I went with it anyways. Then the bus driver drove off with the two white people that stayed behind and the policeman went back to his car and drove off. We had only gotton 15 minutes into our ride before we had gotton pulled over. Clearly everyone had forgotton about that law. Now it was 8:30 and we all got in a huddle and decided to get another bus.

After about an hour of walking a white man pulled up to us on the highway. He asked where we were heading and if we wanted a ride. He said his name was Ralfe. We told him where we were going. He said that he just happen to be going to New Orleans too for a wedding or someting like that. Since he seemed like a nice guy we told him that we were freedom riders and we told him what we were trying to do. He said that he would help us. After a little bit of driving it was 12:30 and we all were hungry so we stopped at Woolworths dimestore. When people saw a group of blacks sitting in the front of a bus. We could tell that they were angry by looking at their faces. When we got inside the group separated for lunch. The black group members went to the back and the white group members went to the front. Of course the white members were finished with their lunch before we even had gotton ours. When the waitress came Hugo was ordering his food. When suddenly there was a mind splitting explosion outside. Then there was a strong odor that smelled like smoke. Everyone in the store ran outside. We saw that someone had bombed the bus. When the fire truck came the group members and I had decided to give up. We had figured out what we were trying to figure out. So we all split up and thanked Ralfe for all of his help. Eventually I got a taxi back home feeling annoyed and wishing the results had come out a different way. Now if you will excuse me I have to go preach.

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