In this WSB newsfilm clip from August 14, 1961, civil rights workers return to Jackson, Mississippi to appeal their conviction for participation in the Freedom Rides.
The clip begins with a Greyhound bus driving down the street and parking along the side of the road. The bus's windows are down and people are seen through the windows. An African American woman and two white women get off the bus; later a white man gets off the bus. The interracial group of men and women walk up a flight of stairs. Cameramen and policemen observe the group as it walks up the stairs. The clip ends with spectators watching the group enter the building.
In 1961 the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE) organized a test of interstate transportation dubbed the Freedom Ride. The ride, patterned after the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation, began in Washington D.C. on May 4, 1961 after three days of nonviolence training. The trip met little resistance through Virginia, North and South Carolina, and Georgia. However, on May 14, the two groups of riders were attacked in Anniston and Birmingham, Alabama. Although the riders eventually flew to New Orleans on May 15, student civil rights workers from Nashville, Tennessee organized replacement riders to continue the journey. After several days of delay, on May 20, 1961, the reorganized Freedom Riders traveled from Birmingham to Montgomery. In Montgomery, the riders were again attacked by a white mob that beat the riders and several bystanders, including John Seigenthaler, personal assistant to attorney general Robert F. Kennedy. Following several more days of negotiations attempting to guarantee the riders' safety, the group traveled from Montgomery to Jackson, Mississippi on May 25. Mississippi officials promptly arrested Freedom Riders who arrived that day as well as every subsequent group of riders that came to Jackson. Many riders, following the "jail, no bail" policy of civil rights workers, would stay in jail the thirty-nine days required for appeals before being bailed out. Eventually over one hundred fifty people were arrested and convicted on charges of breach of the peace. Those convicted returned to Jackson on August 14 to appeal their convictions. In September 1961 the Interstate Commerce Commission issued a ruling banning segregation on interstate buses, trains, and stations that serviced interstate travelers. That ruling went into effect on November 1, 1961.
Title supplied by cataloger.
The Civil Rights Digital Library received support from a National Leadership Grant for Libraries awarded to the University of Georgia by the Institute of Museum and Library Services for digital conversion and description of the WSB-TV Newsfilm Collection.
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Cite as: WSB-TV newsfilm clip of civil rights workers arrested during the Freedom Ride going to court to appeal their arrests in Jackson, Mississippi, 1961 August 14, WSB-TV newsfilm collection, reel 0778, 10:58/11:48, Walter J. Brown Media Archives and Peabody Awards Collection, The University of Georgia Libraries, Athens, Ga, as presented in the Digital Library of Georgia.