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Learn about the Freedom Riders, a courageous band of African American and white civil rights activists who in 1961 rode together on buses throughout the American South to challenge segregation. These video segments document the events and accomplishments of the Freedom Rides, and introduce you to the real human stories of those who helped change our history.

The Governor


Video

The Governor

This video segment adapted from American Experience: "Freedom Riders" describes Alabama Governor John Patterson's refusal to ensure the safety of the Freedom Riders, despite the efforts of President Kennedy and other federal officials.

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Views: 318
  • Downloads: 18
  • Favorites: 51
The Student Leader


Video

The Student Leader

This video segment from American Experience: "Freedom Riders" profiles one of the African American student leaders who employed nonviolent direct action in the early 1960s to challenge illegal racial segregation both on her own college campus and nationally.

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Views: 342
  • Downloads: 18
  • Favorites: 57
Fresh Troops


Video

Fresh Troops

This video segment from American Experience: "Freedom Riders" describes how the Nashville student movement trained future Freedom Riders in nonviolence, and why these students were so essential in sustaining the Freedom Rides.

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Views: 321
  • Downloads: 15
  • Favorites: 55
The Inspiration


Video

The Inspiration

This video segment from American Experience: "Freedom Riders" describes the influence of India's Mahatma Gandhi's nonviolent tactics on the struggle to end illegal discrimination against African Americans in the United States.

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Views: 1030
  • Downloads: 68
  • Favorites: 92
Freedom Riders Challenge Segregation


Video

Freedom Riders Challenge Segregation

This video segment adapted from American Experience: "Freedom Riders" describes how a group of black and white Americans planned to challenge illegal racial segregation by riding buses across Southern states.

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Views: 2257
  • Downloads: 128
  • Favorites: 116
The Young Witness


Video

The Young Witness

This video segment adapted from American Experience: "Freedom Riders" describes the response of a young Alabama girl who witnessed an attack on the Freedom Riders.

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Views: 378
  • Downloads: 21
  • Favorites: 53
The Tactic


Video

The Tactic

This video segment adapted from American Experience: "Freedom Riders" describes the adoption of nonviolent direct action as the critical tactic in challenging illegal racial segregation in the Southern United States in the early 1960s.

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Views: 337
  • Downloads: 16
  • Favorites: 68
Freedom Riders Create Change


Video

Freedom Riders Create Change

This video segment adapted from American Experience: "Freedom Riders" highlights the impact of the 1961 Freedom Rides on the efforts to end racial segregation and discrimination in the United States.

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Views: 1492
  • Downloads: 108
  • Favorites: 102
The Exchange Student


Video

The Exchange Student

This video segment from American Experience: "Freedom Riders" describes the experience of Jim Zwerg, a white college student who was among the Freedom Riders seeking to end illegal discrimination against African Americans during the civil rights era.

  • Grades: 6-12
  • Views: 288
  • Downloads: 18
  • Favorites: 48