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Sylvania Campus to host Freedom Rider on May 13
Photos and Story by Deborah Crawford
During the spring of 1961, student activists, both black and white, from the Congress of Racial Equality launched the Freedom Rides to challenge segregation on interstate buses and bus terminals. Traveling across the South in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama their efforts transformed the Civil Rights Movement.
Former Freedom Rider Max Pavesic will detail his experiences as a rider on the Freedom Buses from 1 to 2:50 p.m., Tuesday, May 13, in Room 101, Southern Classroom Building. His talk will touch on issues ranging from his imprisonment to student activism to the 50-year reunion of the Freedom Riders on the Oprah Winfrey show in 2010. This event will be hosted by history instructor Carmen Thompson’s African American History class and is sponsored by ASPCC. The talk is open to the entire Sylvania Campus. Seating is limited.
This event will be relevant to all students who attend because many of the Freedom Riders of the 1960s, including Pavesic, were college students. Moreover, The Freedom Rides were an interracial movement during the period of Jim Crow segregation, where federal, state, and local governments throughout the United States supported the separation of the races. It was mostly college students and young people, rather than older adults and established Civil Rights organizations like the NAACP, that pushed the federal government to affirm the 1954 Brown v. Board Supreme Court decision that separate accommodations by race violates the 14th Amendment. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that prohibits discrimination on the basis of race and color, as well as religion, sex, or national origin.