May 12, 2011

Commentary: The new Freedom Riders

The homeless man shifts on the park bench beneath a blanket of carpet padding as the college students gather around. Only his hand is visible, poking from beneath the padding. We are in his bedroom, a public park across the street from the Art Deco building that, in 1961, was a Greyhound bus station. It was from this site — and a Trailways station that sat across the street in a building that no longer exists — that the first busload of Freedom Riders departed on May 4, 1961. So it is from this spot that this symbolic 50th anniversary Freedom Ride of 40 college students also embarks.

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