College Students Will Retrace the Route of the Freedom Riders

Next week 40 college students will embark on a 10-day journey that will trace the route taken a half century ago in 1961 by the original Freedom Riders. The 1961 protests sought to bring attention to segregation on interstate bus lines. One bus was firebombed near Anniston, Alabama, and riders on another bus were attacked at the terminal in Birmingham.

After two days of events in Washington, the students will board a bus that will take them through Virginia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Mississippi, and Louisiana. The tour will end in New Orleans, the intended destination of the original Freedom Rides. The students will be accompanied by filmmaker Stanley Nelson as well as some of the original Freedom Riders.

The diverse group of 40 students were selected from a group of nearly 1,000 applicants. Applicants had to submit an essay on their reasons for wanting to participate.