Introduction to Segregation in the South, 1961

Racial segregation was the rule throughout all of the southern and in areas of the northern United States  until the 1960s.  Public facilities were claimed to be “separate but equal” by proponents of segregation.   Those who violated these social mores were subject to abuse ranging from beatings to bombings to lynchings.  (The lynching shown occurred in Marion, Indiana in 1930)1.  In 1961, the Civil Rights Movement to end racial segregation was still in its infancy, with only a few victories realized (notably integration of Woolworth’s lunch counters and, shown at the left, integration of the city buses in Montgomery, Alabama2 ). The federal government had passed an Interstate Commerce Commission law stating that it was illegal to segregate public interstate facilities. However, this federal law was officially ignored throughout the South with separate white and “colored” facilities enforced at bus and train stations 3 . As a rule throughout the South, police not only turned a blind eye to violence against movement people, but were often active participants in the beatings.  Pleas to President John F. Kennedy and his brother, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy, to enforce the federal law were ignored, and the U.S. Justice Department turned a blind eye to these violations, despite pleas to them to enforce the laws prohibiting segregation of interstate facilities.

Intro to Racial Segregation thmb_02_slide0032_image007 thmb_03_slide0005_image001 thmb_04_slide0034_image005 thmb_07_slide0033_image017 thmb_10_slide0020_image011 thmb_21_slide0021_image027

 

Stills Taken 28 May on the Trailways Freedom Ride from Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi

These images (except for the first) are all taken from Stanley Nelson’s Film “Freedom Riders.”  They are all taken from Chapter 13 of the PBS video, at the approximate minutes indicated into that chapter.

thmb_00_Montgomery_Bus_Staion_integrated

28 May 1961:  We successfully integrated the Montgomery Trailways station, the scene of some terrible beatings inflicted just days before on Freedom Riders (mostly Nashville students) who came down from Birmingham just days before.

In the picture, with the page number of their images in Ethridge’s “Breach of Peace” are freedom Riders, left to right:
Front row, seated: David Fankhauser (p 58-60), Allen Cason, Jr. (p 58-59), David Myers (pp 58-59, 64-65), Pauline Knight-Ofosu (pp 58-59, 62-63), Franklin Hunt (?)(pp 58-59)

Back row: standing Larry Hunter (?) (pp 58-59, 61), William Manhoey (?) (pp58-59); seated, back to camera: Albert Lee Dunn (pp 58-59)
Picture source: Wilkenson, Brenda, “The Civil Rights Movement, An Illustrated History,” p. 82.

 

 

thmb_01_Trailways_bus_leaves_Montgomery_P5080287

The Trailways bus leaves Montgomery Alabama under the watchful eyes of the National Guard

Source: Stanley Nelson’s, “Freedom Riders”,

Chapter 13:
0 min, 08 sec

 

thmb_02_Trailways_Station_Jackson_MS_P5080288

Approach to the Jackson Mississippi Trailways Station,

Source: Stanley Nelson’s, “Freedom Riders”,

Chapter 13:
0 min, 28 sec

 

thmb_03_Trailways_bus_arrives_P5080290

The Trailways bus pulls into the station.

Source: Stanley Nelson’s, “Freedom Riders”,

Chapter 13:
0 min, 28 sec

 

thmb_05_FRs_being_arrested_P5080293

Arrests being made in Jackson Bus Station.

Source: Stanley Nelson’s, “Freedom Riders”,

Chapter 13:
0 min, 28 sec

 

thmb_06_Arrested_FRs_front_of_station_P5080295

Being led out the the station into the Paddy  Wagon

Source: Stanley Nelson’s, “Freedom Riders”,

Chapter 13:
0 min, 28 sec

 

thmb_07_Loading_paddy_wagon_P5080294

Arrested Freedom Riders are place in the Paddy Wagon.

Source: Stanley Nelson’s, Freedom Riders”,

Chapter 13:
0 min, 49 sec

 

thmb_08_Fankhauser_etc_mugshot_P5080283

Freedom Rider Mugshots:

Unknown Freedom Rider, Joan Trumphaue Mulholland (pp 86-89), David Fankhauser (p 58-60)

Chapter 13:
1 min, 20 sec

 

thmb_09_Parchman_Maximum_Security_Unit_P5080286

View down the cell block in Parchman State Penitentary Maximum Security Unit

Chapter 13:
1min, 34 sec

50th Reunion of the Freedom Riders, Chicago 2011

These pictures were taken by David Fankhauser at the 50th Reunion of Freedom Riders in Chicago, 27 April to 30 April 2011.

First set from the 25th floor of the Omni Hotel.  Thanks Oprah.

thmb_P4280205 thmb_P4280206 thmb_P4280210

 

 

 

 

Breakfast at the Omni, April 28, 2011

thmb_P4280213 thmb_P4280214

 

 

 

 

On the bus (didn’t we have fun singing!) and disembarking at Harpo Studios (then they took my camera away!)

thmb_P4280215 thmb_P4280218

 

 

 

 

My student guests from Simeon High School in South Chicago, with their teacher Steven Guarnieri (my future son-in-law) and Jesse Jackson

thmb_P4290237 thmb_P4290227

 

 

 

 

Photos from the April 29th sessions

thmb_P4290239 thmb_P4290242 thmb_P4290244

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photos from the April 30th sessions

April 30 Session3 April 30 Session2 April 30 Session

Justice Department Enforces the Law

That summer, the Justice Department succeeded in getting the states to agree not to interfere with interstate travelers, and allow unrestricted, and thus we did accomplish the integration of public waiting rooms.

And don’t we STILL have a long way to go before a person is valued for his person instead of his color, creed or religion?

1    Kasher, Steven, The Civil Rights Movement, A photographic History, 1954-68, p. 20.
2    Ibid, p. 31.
3    Wilkenson, Brenda, The Civil Rights Movement, An Illustrated History, p. 82.
4    Kasher, p. 145.
5    Williams, Juan, Eyes on the Prize, America’s Civil Rights Years 1954-1965, p. 12.
6    Williams, p. 144.
7    Kasher, p. 86.
8     Williams, p. 150.
9     Wilkenson, p. 115.
10    Wexler, Sanford, An Eyewitness of the Civil Rights Movement , p. 130
NOTE: I have been called to task (correctly, I might add) for not crediting the photographers who have taken these images of the Freedom Rides. I am eager to give credit to these individuals if you happen to know who took the pictures I have posted. Send me an email with the information, thanks.

Trip from Jackson, Mississippi to Cincinnati, Ohio

Upon my release, I took the train from Jackson, Mississippi to Cincinnati, Ohio, a very tense ride especially while I was still in Mississippi. I was never more grateful to leave a state than when the train passed from Mississippi into Tennessee, but even then, I was in the South. When I arrived in Cincinnati, to my astonishment, there was a huge welcoming crowd of local civil rights people. Two hefty CORE members hoisted up me on their shoulders and carried me through the great hall of Union Terminal. Talk about culture shock!

Uncertainty About Release Date

I had found that the aluminum cup we were given as our drinking vessel would leave a gray line when rubbed on the cement wall. I constructed a large calendar and illustrated a mural on the wall using this cup. I had calculated that the 40 days (maximum time before which bail must be posted) would be over on Friday July 7th.  I expected to be bailed out on that day. I had heard that if one weren’t bailed out by 40 days, that one would have to serve out a full 6 months in prison. July 7th came and went. Saturday the 8th came and went. I was very depressed… Then, on Sunday July 9th, The guards came in and said that I should get ready to go, that I was being released. That was a joyous moment. I was led to a room where I was given my street clothes back. As I dressed, a guard who had seemed particularly virulent in his attitude to us sidled up to me and quietly said that he hoped there were no hard feelings. He said he was only doing his job, didn’t I understand, and that he didn’t personally hate us. I thought that was a very positive statement for him to say, and confirmed one of the underlying principles of non-violent resistance: that if we appeal to the humanness in each of us, returning courtesy for hateful actions, that hearts can be changed.

Twelve Days of Hunger Strike Ends

After 12 days of fasting, those of us on hunger strike halted our fast under assurances that the justice Department was going to take action to halt the arrests. It was at that point that I began to “experience” the food in Parchman: Breakfast every morning was black coffee strongly flavored with chicory, grits, biscuits and blackstrap molasses. Lunch was generally some form of beans or black-eyed peas boiled with pork gristle, served with cornbread. In the evening, it was the same as lunch except it was cold. After fasting for 12 days, I ate everything with gusto. I discovered that if you pour the molasses on the biscuits in the morning, by the afternoon, the biscuits “crisped up” inside, making what passed for a crunchy sweet. The things we appreciate when limited food is available…

Pamphlet of the Words to Some of the Songs We Sang

Ain’t Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Round
Ain’t gonna let nobody turn me ‘round,
Turn me round, turn me ‘round.
Ain’t gonna let nobody, turn me ‘round.FR4thmb_32_slide0004_image063
Ain’t gonna let segregation turn me ’round,
Turn me ’round, turn me ’round….
BRIDGE: I’m gonna walk, walk, I’m gonna walk walk…
With my mind on Freedom
I’m gonna talk, talk, gonna talk, talk…
I’m gonna keep on a-walkin’, keep on a-FR1thmb_14_slide0001_image029talkin’.
Marchin’ on to freedom land

This May Be the Last Time
CHORUS:
This may be the last time.
This may be the last time, children
This may be the last time.
May be the last time, but I don’t know.
This may be the last time we ever sing together
It may be the last time, but I don’t know (2x)
CHORUS:
Martin stood before us, and then he said,
May be the last time, but I don’t know
CHORUS:

Woke Up This Morning
Woke up this morning with my mind, Stayin’ on
freedom
Woke up this morning with my mind, Stayin’ on freedom,
Woke up this morning with my mind, Stayin’ on freedom
Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah.
There ain’t no harm to keep your mind, stayin’ on freedom
There ain’t no harm to keep your mind, stayin’ on freedom
There ain’t no harm to keep your mind, stayin’ on freedom
Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah.
I’m walking and talking with my mind, stayin’ on freedom
I’m walking and talking with my mind, stayin’ on freedom
I’m walking and talking with my mind, stayin’ on freedom
Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah.
BRIDGE: (different rhythm)
I’m gonna walk, walk, I’m gonna walk, walk,
I’m gonna walk, walk, with my mind on freedom
Talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, talk, with my mind on freedom
Hallelu, Hallelu, Hallelujah.

I’m Gonna Sit at the Welcome Table
CHORUS:
I’m gonna sit at the welcome table,
I’m gonna sit at the welcome table one of these days, Hallelujah!
I’m gonna sit at the welcome table,
I’m gonna sit at the welcome table one of these days.
Verses:
I’m gonna tell God how you treat me…
I’m gonna sit at the Woolworth counter…
I’m gonna feast on milk and honey …

We Shall Not Be Moved
We shall not, we shall not be moved (repeat)
Just like a tree that’s planted by the waters
We shall not be moved
Black and White together, we shall not be
moved
Standing up for justice, we shall not be moved
(repeat)…
We Are Soldiers
We are soldiers, in the army
We got to fight, although we have to die
We have to hold up the blood-stained banner
We got to hold it up until we die.
My mother was a soldier,
She had her hand on the gospel plow.
When she got old, and couldn’t fight anymore,
She said I’ll stand here and fight on anyhow.

Which Side Are You On?
CHORUS:
Which side are you on, boy? Which side are you on?
Which side are you on, boy? Which side are you on?
In Jackson, Mississippi, no neutrals will you get,
You’ll either be a Freedom Rider or a Tom for Ross Barnett
CHORUS
My daddy was a freedom fighter, and I’m my daddy’s son
And I will fight for freedom, ‘til every battle’s won
CHORUS

 

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize
Paul and Silas were bound in jail
Had no money for to go their bail
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
CHORUS:
Hold on, Hold on,
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
Paul and Silas began to shout
The jail doors opened and they walked right out
Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on
CHORUS
One of the days, and I think I’m right
We’re gonna live together, black and white
CHORUS

PDF of the Songs of the Freedom Riders