The Freedom Riders ..Civil Right Movement - Research Paper Example

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In the 1960’s, the government ended segregation laws in response to a series of protests beginning with the Freedom Riders. The people demonstrated what they needed to have changed, and the…
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The Freedom Riders ..Civil Right Movement
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Download file to see previous pages In addition, the history of America affects the direction and roles of the government. The Freedom Riders movement is a specific point in history that changed the course of the government. Because of the movement, the government enacted legislation to allow equal rights.
In May of 1961, a small group of African-Americans as well as white supporters took a journey on a bus (Arsenault 1). This journey became symbolic of the struggle for equal rights. Thirteen riders got on buses that were supposed to be for white people only, and refused to get off. Their goal was to reach Alabama from Washington. One bus was set on fire when it reached Alabama, and most of its riders were brutally beaten. This original group of Freedom Riders placed themselves in harms way in order to support a movement greater than themselves. After the African-Americans reached Alabama, people across the United States were more aware of the struggle for civil rights. They inspired more than sixty more freedom rides across the country and sparked a movement (et al).
President Kennedy first attempted to stop the Freedom Riders (Bullard 20). When he realized he could not stop the protests, he chose to help them out. He told the southern states that their segregation laws would still be in effect if they agreed not to harm the Freedom Riders. Even though the Freedom Riders were not brutally beaten after President Kennedy made this agreement with the southern states, they were still arrested once they finished their ride.
Elected officials grew frustrated with the Freedom Riders. In an effort to stop the movement, Attorney General Robert Kennedy “took the unusual step of asking the Interstate Commerce Commission to issue regulations against segregated terminals” (et al 21). Surprisingly, the Interstate Commerce Commission agreed. Essentially, the Freedom Riders won. They had set out to end segregation of public travel, and that is exactly what the United States ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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