Film & Discussion: Freedom Riders

6:00 - 8:30 PM | Downtown Library | Thursday, October 27 | Grade 9-Adult

In 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives--and many endured beatings and imprisonment, for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, testing their belief in nonviolent activism.

Leading the post film discussion is Rev. Dr. Bernard Lafayette, Jr., who was a Freedom Rider. He is a longtime civil rights activist, organizer, and an authority on nonviolent social change. He co-founded the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) in 1960, and he was a core leader of the civil rights movement in Nashville, TN, in 1960 and in Selma, AL, in 1965.

From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson, the film features testimony from a cast of characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalist who witnessed the Rides firsthand. This two-hour documentary is based on Raymond Arsenault's book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice.

This event is co-sponsored by the University of Michigan Community Scholars' Program and the Ann Arbor District Library.