Election 2016

History: Freedom Riders arrested

clarionledger.comPolice in Jackson, Mississippi, arrest wave after wave of Freedom Riders, who are traveling to protest segregation. Many are sent to the state’s worst prison in Parchman. (Photo: Eric Etheridge)

May 24, 1961: Twenty-seven Freedom Riders, headed for New Orleans, were arrested as soon as they arrived in the bus station in Jackson, Mississippi. Many of the riders were sentenced to two months inside Mississippi’s worst prison, Parchman. Within a few months, police arrested more than 400 Freedom Riders. Eric Etheridge features portraits of the Riders (then and now) in his book, Breach of Peace. Their journeys are captured in Raymond Arsenault’s book, Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, and Stanley Nelson’s documentary, Freedom Riders.

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