In 1961, many black and white women and men traveled on buses together through the segregated south.
They had one common goal to get equal rights for both blacks and whites which would hopefully result in desegregation.
The Freedom riders faced many hardships along the way, but in the end they prevailed with getting equal rights for blacks and desegregation in the south.
The main message that Stanley Nelson portrayed was the flaws in America during the early 1960's. The film pointed out all the wrongs that the Federal Government and State Legislatures were doing at the time with supporting the segregation between whites and blacks.
How Effective was the Message?
I think that Stanley Nelson was very effective in showing his message because he used a wide range of support. He used graphic video from the 1960's to set the seen of the south during a time of segregation. He used support from many freedom riders and historians so his audience could re-live the moments which the freedom riders faced. With his message he really showed how the Kennedy administration's involvement grew as the freedom riders became more powerful with their message to stop segregation in the south.
The Audiences Response
I think the filmmaker wanted the audience to respond in a positive way that is to owe respect to the freedom riders. Also to see how far America has come since the 1960's. For example, when the freedom riders did not give up even after one of their buses caught on fire and then they were beaten. The filmmaker wants the audience to never give up on what they feel is truly right even when they are in the minority.
Explanation of Sources
Throughout the film there were several different sources:
-Actual Freedom Riders
-Assistant to Bobby Kennedy
-Since the filmmaker used a wide range of sources it made his argument and documentary as a whole more effective to the audience.
-The sources used were all interviewed and shown throughout the film. This made each point about the portrayal of the segregation period in the south more real to the viewer. Also each source had a unique perspective of what they felt and experienced during the time of the freedom riders.
Relation to the Essential Questions
The film can relate to the second essential question:
“ How have human choices had a local and global impact?”
Human choices between whites and blacks during the 1960's have had a major impact on what has resulted in American society today. One reason shown in the film is that Whites and Blacks hated each other. Additionally, the freedom riders choice to stand up for equal rights and for what was right was a solid choice. They did this not just for them, but for the people in the future. This truly shows how human choices have had a local and global impact on history such as the freedom riders did.
Questions I Have
-Who was the first person to come up and organize the freedom riders?
-Were any freedom riders killed on their path to desegregate the south?
-Why did Martin Luther King Jr. not ride the bus with the freedom riders even when they all wanted him to?
New Thought From the Film
Because of the Freedom Riders they desegregated the south and changed the way the whole country looks at the relationships between whites and blacks during the early 1960's and even today.