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Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle at Arkansas Tech University: Freedom Riders

"Created Equal" is a film, lecture, and discussion series about the changing meanings of freedom and equality in U.S. history. The program provides opportunities for students, public, and scholars to discuss historical research and learning.

An image from FREEDOM RIDERS

Mother’s Day, May 14, 1961: A Greyhound bus carrying the Freedom Riders was attacked by a mob who slashed its tires, and then firebombed the disabled vehicle outside of Anniston, Alabama.

Credit: Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

About this film

Wednesday, April 20, 2016 7:00 pm

Ross Pendergraft Library, Room 300B

Clips of the award-winning documentary will be shown and a discussion will follow.  Then Mrs. Barbara Lackey (Horace Mann HS-Little Rock '60, ATU '68) will discuss her life experiences in the River Valley and beyond.

Freedom Riders  

The Freedom Rides of 1961 were a pivotal moment in the long Civil Rights struggle that redefined America. Based on Raymond Arsenault’s recent book, this documentary film offers an inside look at the brave band of activists who challenged segregation in the Deep South. Produced and directed by Stanley Nelson.  Mark Samels, executive producer for American Experience, WGBH.

Attracting a diverse group of volunteers—black and white, young and old, male and female, secular and religious, northern and southern—the Freedom Rides of 1961 took the civil rights struggle out of the courtroom and onto the streets of the Jim Crow South. Freedom Riders tells the terrifying, moving, and suspenseful story of a time when white and black volunteers riding a bus into the Deep South risked being jailed, beaten, or killed, as white local and state authorities ignored or encouraged violent attacks. The film includes previously unseen amateur 8-mm footage of the burning bus on which some Freedom Riders were temporarily trapped, taken by a local twelve-year-old and held as evidence since 1961 by the FBI.

Please visit the official film website to learn more:

 Watch the full film by clicking in the box below, or go here:

Rep. Lewis: 'I Gave A Little Blood Here And There'

Congressman and Freedom Rider Rep. John Lewis shares his experience at the March on Washington.  Listen to the National Public Radio (NPR) interview at this link.