Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode interstate buses into the segregated Southern United States in 1961 and subsequent years to challenge the non-enforcement of the United States Supreme Court decisions, Morgan v. Virginia (1946) and Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which ruled that segregated public buses, waiting rooms, and restaurants were unconstitutional.
The Southern states had ignored the rulings and the federal government did nothing to enforce them. The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C. on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17.
- Chmielewiski, K. 2004. “Freedom Rides: American civil rights movement.” Britannica.
- “The Freedom Rides: CORE Volunteers put their lives on the Road.” Congress of Racial Equality.
- “The Freedom Riders History,” Smithsonian Magazine, YouTube video, 5:03, February 23, 2020.