The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

SE discussion highlights Freedom Riders’ struggle

Jason+Floyd%2FThe+Collegian++Speaker+Ruthann+Geer+gives+a+presentation+as+a+part+of+the+Created+Equal%3A+America%E2%80%99s+Civil+Rights+Struggle+series.+The+presentation+included+information+about+the+peace+activists+called+the+Freedom+Riders+and+the+hardships+they+faced.
Jason Floyd/The Collegian Speaker Ruthann Geer gives a presentation as a part of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle series. The presentation included information about the peace activists called the Freedom Riders and the hardships they faced.

By Brett White/editor

Jason Floyd/The Collegian  Speaker Ruthann Geer gives a presentation as a part of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle series. The presentation included information about the peace activists called the Freedom Riders and the hardships they faced.
Jason Floyd/The Collegian Speaker Ruthann Geer gives a presentation as a part of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle series. The presentation included information about the peace activists called the Freedom Riders and the hardships they faced.

Young men and women of different races who joined to peacefully protest segregation in the 1960s often faced violence, a SE government instructor said Feb. 20.

As part of the Created Equal: America’s Civil Rights Struggle series, Ruthann Geer led a film discussion on Freedom Riders in the SE Campus Judith J. Carrier Library.

The young activists, known as Freedom Riders, traveled through the South drawing attention to laws and treatment they felt were unjust. In return, they were sometimes threatened, beaten or arrested.

Geer explained the civil rights struggle in further detail between segments of the film, then gave a moment for thoughts and feedback on what students thought.

“These men and women were trained never to strike back or commit any acts of violence,” she said, “no matter what the circumstances are … even if under attack.”

Scenes were shown of the Birmingham, Ala., mob where hundreds if not thousands of white men brutally attacked a bus full of black men and women along with some white supporters. When such attacks began to include U.S. officials at the wrong end of the stick, President John F. Kennedy authorized U.S. Marshals to step in and take action, the documentary reported.

Also, not everyone was racist at the time, Geer said. Although some political figures believed that civilization depended on segregation, many felt race was not an issue.

Geer, along with the student participants, concluded that the Freedom Riders made an impact in the civil rights struggle by bringing more awareness and continued support toward their cause by catching the attention of the media.

“They put faces on rumors of racial violence, so nobody could pretend it wasn’t real anymore,” Geer said. 

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