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Historically Speaking: Buses Are a Comin’: A Conversation with Freedom Rider Charles Person
April 29, 2021 @ 7:00 pm - 8:00 pm UTC+0
Thursday, April 29; 7 p.m.–8 p.m.
Freedom Rider and author Charles Person discuss his new book, Buses Are a Comin’: Memoir of a Freedom Rider, which provides a personal view of the U.S. civil rights movement in America. At 18, Person was the youngest of the 13 people who boarded two buses in Washington, D.C., to head to New Orleans in the spring of 1961. Among those 13—seven blacks and six whites—was John Lewis, who was elected to Congress in 1987 and served until his death in 2020. This group set out to discover whether America would abide by a Supreme Court decision that ruled segregation unconstitutional in interstate travel, bus depots, restaurants and restrooms nationwide. When Person’s bus arrived in Anniston, Alabama, the riders refused the driver’s order to move to the back of the bus. Person and three others were beaten by Klansmen and dragged to the back of the bus. Person’s story provides a roadmap from a teenager of a previous era to the young people of today on how to become agents of transformation. Admission is free; however, registration is required at https://nmaahc.si.edu/events/upcoming.