Freedom Riders Lecture
Civil Rights from St. Louis to Little Rock, and Beyond
- Friday, January 18, 2013
- 1:00-3:15 pm
- A 12:15 pm reception with light refreshments will precede the program
- Qualifies for 2 Missouri CLE hours
- Thomas F. Eagleton U.S. Courthouse
- 28th Floor En Banc Courtroom
- Click here for a printable flyer
In 1961, over 400 brave people risked their lives to challenge segregated facilities in the South. Old and young, black and white, men and women, Northern and Southern, all got on the bus together to participate in the Freedom Rides, to test recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions against segregated interstate bus travel.
On July 10, 1961, a bus left from St. Louis headed to Little Rock, Arkansas. The Reverend John Curtis Raines of Long Island, NY, was one of five riders on that bus. The others were civil rights activist Rev. Benjamin Elton Cox, St. Louis public school teacher Bliss Anne Malone, St. Louis student Annie Lumpkin, and New York artist Janet Reinitz. When they arrived in Little Rock that evening, they were all arrested after refusing to leave the bus terminal. They were released later that week and continued on to New Orleans.
In 2011, on the 50th anniversary of this journey, the University of Arkansas at Little Rock launched their Institute on Race and Ethnicity to continue to work of the Civil Rights Movement. The Founding Director, Adjoa A. Aiyetoro, J.D., is a law professor and social activist originally from St. Louis. The 2011 launch of the Institute included a celebration and commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders coming from St. Louis to Little Rock. The University and the Institute have done extensive work to research and document this important regional event and its importance to the Civil Rights Movement and beyond.