CAP en Español
Small CAP Banner

Immigrant Rights Activists Are Obama’s Freedom Riders

  • print icon
  • SHARE:
  • Facebook icon
  • Twitter icon
  • Share on Google+
  • Email icon

Fifty years ago this summer, hundreds of young people organized, rode buses into the deep South and got arrested for challenging Jim Crow segregation in inter-state transit. They were beaten, firebombed and imprisoned. The Freedom Riders knew full well they would not convince segregationist Southern politicians like Alabama’s Sheriff Bull Connor or Governor John Patterson to embrace integration.

Instead, they were pushing President John F. Kennedy, a civil rights ally, to use his power to end segregation in public transit throughout the South. President Kennedy asked for patience, and said he could not unilaterally make the changes they wanted. More young people boarded buses for the South, and filled the jails of Mississippi. Kennedy realized the time to act had come.

Read more here.

This article was originally published in New America Media.

To speak with our experts on this topic, please contact:

Print: Liz Bartolomeo (poverty, health care)
202.481.8151 or

Print: Tom Caiazza (foreign policy, energy and environment, LGBT issues, gun-violence prevention)
202.481.7141 or

Print: Allison Preiss (economy, education)
202.478.6331 or

Print: Tanya Arditi (immigration, Progress 2050, race issues, demographics, criminal justice, Legal Progress)
202.741.6258 or

Print: Chelsea Kiene (women's issues,, faith)
202.478.5328 or

Print: Benton Strong (Center for American Progress Action Fund)
202.481.8142 or

Spanish-language and ethnic media: Jennifer Molina
202.796.9706 or

TV: Rachel Rosen
202.483.2675 or

Radio: Chelsea Kiene
202.478.5328 or