Freedom Riders Presentation


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This is slide show I created for a History class where we answered questions and critiqued it. The documentary was called Freedom Riders directed by Stanley Nelson

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Freedom Riders Presentation

  1. 1. Freedom Riders A film by Stanley Nelson
  2. 2. Background Information The Congress of Racial Equality or Planned to take buses all around the South in Spring 1961 to make sure the laws that were passed about racial equality went into effect throughout the South.
  3. 3. Background info continued The Freedom Riders were given hope by the election of John F. Kennedy. The set off on May 4, 1961 with a mix of whites and blacks. The first few days went by without incident.
  4. 4. Continued In Alabama, on Day 11, they were met with heavy protests. One bus was set on fire and some of the Freedom Riders were beat up. When the other bus arrived, Bull Connor, a police official, let the KKK and the mob do whatever they wanted to the Freedom Riders from 15 minutes.
  5. 5. Continued Eventually they got the support of the Federal Government and the Civil Rights Movement. Robert F. Kennedy asks the ICC, Interstate Commerce Commission, to enforce their ruling of desegregated buses and facilities. The Freedom Riders do win the war on desegregation with the means of non- violence.
  6. 6. Director's Central Message Initially, JFK and RFK thought of civil rights as a nuisance to their campaign and time in office. What are these civil rights, and why can't they go away? Yes, I agree wholeheartedly that civil rights are not the most important thing.
  7. 7. Director's Central Message JFK wanted the Freedom Riders to cool down and stop sending buses, so the problem could go away. RFK solved it by asking the ICC to enforce their own laws. Please stop sending the buses. Why can't this just go away? ICC, help us out here. Can you enforce those laws that you passed, so the Freedom Rides will stop.
  8. 8. Director's Central Message The Freedom Riders would not give up despite the set backs they faced, and the consequences of their actions. Even though I could get beat up, I am still going on this bus to prove a point. I will probably go to jail, and maybe even killed, but there is no greater cause than for civil rights.
  9. 9. Director's Central Message The Freedom Riders were promised protection, but didn't receive it until federal troops stepped in to help. I will provide protection. But I won't really protect them. We WILL protect the Freedom Riders.
  10. 10. Director's Central Message Even Martin Luther King Jr. was not supportive at the beginning. But, by the end, he welcomed the Freedom Riders as part of the Civil Rights Movement. I wish you luck, but I will not assist you in your cause. You are part of the movement for equality, and I will help your cause.
  11. 11. Effectiveness in Communicating Message Strengths: • The amount of support (Primary and Secondary sources: Freedom Riders, Politicians of the time, and experts) • Emotional Pictures and video • Repetition of message • Amount of detail for background info.
  12. 12. Effectiveness in Communicating Message Weaknesses: • Too much repetition • Not enough video
  13. 13. Effectiveness in Communicating Message Overall: • The Movie has many strengths, and only a few weaknesses throughout. • Therefore, Nelson conveyed his message very clearly to his audience.
  14. 14. Nelson's expected audience response Outrage at the Kennedy administration for not offering help. Disgust at the actions taken by the police and Bull Connor in Alabama and Mississippi. Sympathy or Empathy for the Freedom Riders and what they had to deal with.
  15. 15. Nelson's expected audience response Disbelief as to why the people in power did not offer help (JFK, RFK, ICC) Confusion as to why MLK and the Civil Rights Movement didn't back the Freedom Riders from the beginning.
  16. 16. Sources Used The best source used were the original Freedom Riders in 1961. People like: • Jim Peck • John Lewis • Wally Nelson • Jim Zwerg • Genevieve Houghton These people all committed themselves to being “soldiers of a non-violent army”
  17. 17. Sources Used Freedom Riders continued: They were willing to accept the consequences of their actions. They were effective sources because they had first hand experience and it used an appeal to emotion.
  18. 18. Consequences of Actions
  19. 19. Sources Used Other sources experts on the history on the Freedom Riders and they events surrounding them. Sources include: – Derek Catsam – John Seigenthaler (Primary source and expert/journalist) – Raymond Arsenault
  20. 20. Sources Used The experts/historians were effective because they are an appeal to authority because they have studied the events so thoroughly.
  21. 21. Sources Used Another primary source that Nelson uses are the governors of Mississippi and Alabama at the time of the events. The governors were Ross Barnett (MS) and John Patterson (AL). To the left is John Patterson.
  22. 22. Sources Used The politicians were effective sources because many of them regret their actions. They are both an appeal to emotion (their regret) and appeal to authority.
  23. 23. Sources Used Nelson does a very effective job with his sources because they are varied and because he uses a mixture of primary and secondary sources. He also does a good job at appeals to emotion and appeal to authority with his sources.
  24. 24. Essential Questions Individuals in this instance should have fought for the rights declared in the Constitution. That all men are created equal, and, thus, the laws for desegregation should be applied. Some people in the movie did follow the letter of the law, but those in power, those with influence, did not follow it.
  25. 25. Essential Questions Europe was appalled and disgusted by the way the people in the South treated the Freedom Riders and how poorly the US government handled the situation. Events that occurred then still influence the way that Europeans view Americans today.
  26. 26. Questions Left Unanswered Why do most histories of the Freedom Riders only focus and the first set of Freedom Riders and not mention that groups that came after? Other than the desegregation of buses and bus stations, were there any other immediate changes in favor of civil rights?
  27. 27. Freedom Rider's Impact A current event that the Freedom Rides helped influence and occur was the election of Barack Obama, the first African American president of the United States. The Freedom Riders were fighting for the rights that they gained at the end of the Civil War, and the election of Barack Obama saw the final cumulation of the rights in
  28. 28. Review The movie is a very good movie because it was very informative, clear message, and lots of good sources. It was also good because of the timing of the movie with the election of Barack Obama. The only parts that could be improved on is that it is overly repetitive, I would have liked to hear about his childhood or his experience or view of the Freedom Riders, and more movie clips and less pictures.
  29. 29. Thank You! For Watching My Presentation