St. Francis High School Commemorates the 60th Anniversary of the Freedom Rides
On May 4, 1961 The Freedom Riders set out together on their first rides from Washington D.C. through the American south to test a 1960 Supreme Court decision that declared segregated facilities for interstate passengers illegal. Thanks to the legacy of previous activists, the first four days of the Freedom Rides were mostly peaceful. As the buses made their way into South Carolina, the Freedom Riders were met with violence. Throughout their journey activists were beaten and arrested as they challenged segregation. On November 1, 1961—seven months after the Freedom Riders began their training—the federal government finally succeeded in implementing a policy which complied with the law and ended the practice of segregated travel.
May 3-7, St. Francis High School commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, learning more about the Freedom Riders' experience while ruminating on the past and present inequities existing in America and our world. A variety of research and discussion not only gave students historical knowledge, but offered a deeper understanding of what we are called to do as people of faith. As the week concluded, students, staff and faculty reflected on their own desired legacy and contemplated how they too could stand up for what is right and just.