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Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2008

    Required Reading

    Arsenault has written an extremely detailed and researched account of the events surrounding the Freedom Riders in May 1961 through the end of that year. His narrative is gripping as he takes us through the gut-wrenching episodes of each of the earlier rides that culminated in the firstormed bus in Anniston and the violence of Bull Connors in Birmingham. Most outstanding is his chronological order of events that gives us details of the moment-by-moment happenings, but also of the subsequent complex legal proceedings that follow. Although tedious in their specifics, each of the riders' experiences are nonetheless compelling and revealing on so many levels. He exposes the hypocrisy of the white supremicists involved as well as the internal foibles that menanced the leadership of the Civil Rights Activists. He provides detailed data on each harrowing event of attempted integration and crystal views of the triumphs and shortcomings of men such as Martin Luther King Jr., and Bobby Kennedy. Many who read this book may end up questioning their own beliefs on the charismatic John Kennedy and the iconic Martin Luther - but for sure everyone will be outraged at the stark ignorance and blunt racism of those defenders of Southern segregation. From this book I came to see the courage and incredible determination of a large group of young black and white men and woman who represented the best of what America should be. It is a wonder that so many of my generation completely ignored or were just unaware or uncaring of what great sacrifices were being made in the name of freedom. This book should be required reading for every college freshman in the nation. R. Marchesani

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    Posted August 9, 2013

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    Posted August 20, 2011

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    Posted January 12, 2012

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