Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Freedom Riders On WETA and HCTV

New Documentary Airs Monday Night at 9PM

In 1961, a group of African American activists, with supporters of all races and ethnicities, boarded buses at the New York Avenue Greyhound station bound for the Deep South. The supreme court had recently declared discriminatory laws effecting interstate buses and depots unconstitutional, and this courageous group was determined to test the ruling. The Freedom Riders were taunted, beaten, and jailed; their buses disabled and set ablaze, but the determined voyagers succeeded in sending the message that the rule of law alone would not be enough to subdue an entrenched Jim Crow.

This Monday at 9pm, PBS will air an all new documentary film on the Freedom Riders. The WETA website features a history of the movement, excerpts from a Smithsonian panel discussion, updates from a group of students recreating the original bus route, and an interview with the film's creator.

PBS Freedom Rides Trailer

Local filmmaker Steven Nero has been working on a similar, but more DC-focused, documentary with funding from the Humanities Council for the last few years. The most recent edition debuted at the DC Community Heritage Project showcase last December, and has garnered significant attention on the Council's Youtube channel. Check out the film if you haven't already, and be sure to tune in on Monday for producer Stanley Nelson's take on this historic Civil Rights protest.

Nero's Greyhound Building and Freedom Riders Documentary

The DC Community Heritage Project is a partnership of the Humanities Council, the DC Office of Historic Preservation and the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities.

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