“Freedom Riders” on PBS American Experience Monday May 16

I don’t usually use this blog to push TV programs, but this is different.

I was privileged to see this film at the National Archives yesterday, in the presence of some of the original Riders, and to hear from the director.  Here is the PBS link for the film.  It’s now 50 years those events, and the America in the film is hard to imagine.

It yet another reminder about how even in times of moral clarity only a few do the right thing – and of what an impact those few can have for the rest of us.

One of the best moments:  Robert Kennedy saying that in the near future there could be a black President (he may have said Negro).  Most disconcerting moment:  Robert Kennedy questioning the decision of the Freedom Riders to keep going.  Indeed even the liberal political establishment was deeply ambivalent, as apparently, was Martin Luther King.

Most disturbing for me  for the future:  a black woman at the Archives said last night that for 40 years she had suppressed the psychological trauma she had suffered as a result of her participation in the Movement, and that it was only in the last few years that she had been able to explore it.

We must, as a society do more for those who risked all for us all (regardless of our race).  Not just clapping occasionally.


About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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