Thursday, May 19, 2011

Curriculum Resource: Freedom RIders Traveling Exhibit

This past Sunday I wrote a blog post about the new PBS series on the civil rights activists who took on the segregated travel policies in the 1960s by arranging black and white traveling partners on interstate buses to the Deep South, despite the physical violence and abusive arrests that occurred at many of the travel stops.  The show is supposed to be an inspiring account of people who put their lives on the line for our country to make progress towards the ideals about equality that are contained in our nation's founding documents.

I just found out that Raleigh is fortunate enough to be the next host of a traveling exhibit connected to the TV series.  From June 3-July 1, the Cameron Village Library will display the Freedom Riders Traveling Exhibit, created by the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE in conjunction with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History.  The traveling display has photographs, newspaper clippings, and audiotaped interviews about the 1961 Freedom Riders.  This is a great opportunity to hear from the original Freedom Riders themselves, as well as to get a sense of the times.

Right now the exhibit is in Austin, TX, the tenth stop on the twenty-city tour.  After the exhibit in Raleigh, the show will travel on to:  Salt Lake City, UT; Lawrence, KA; San Francisco, CA; Tempe, AZ; Birmingham, AL; Seattle, WA; Detroit, MI; and Denver, CO.  If your city is not on the list, don't despair; there is also an online exhibit available on the Gilder Lehrman website.

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