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Freedom Riders tells the story of an integrated band of college students — many of whom were the first in their families to attend a university — who decided, en masse, to risk everything and buy a ticket on a Greyhound bus bound for the Deep South. They took the journey from May until November 1961 and called themselves the Freedom Riders, and they managed to bring the president and the entire American public face to face with the challenge of correcting civil-rights inequities that plagued the nation.
Veteran filmmaker Stanley Nelson’s inspirational documentary is the first feature-length film about this courageous band of civil-rights activists that includes Georgia Congressman John Lewis.
Below are resources for the classroom to spark discussions and teach this historical event.
2011 Meet the Student Freedom Riders
From May 6-May 16, 40 students retraced the route the Freedom Riders took on buses. We met them at a screening of the film on May 11 at Morehouse College.
Two student were selected from Georgia to take part in the rides. View our interviews with the student Freedom Riders.