Freedom Riders of the Rights Movement on Oprah and CPTV
Freedom Riders of the Civil Rights Movement Honored
on Oprah and CPTV
To mark the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Riders, an important chronology in the Civil Rights Movement, The Oprah Winfrey Show will honor the anniversary in an episode called “Oprah Honors American Heroes: The Freedom Riders Reunite 50 Years Later.” The episode airs on Wednesday, May 4, and among those being honored on the program is Reverend Ralph Lord Roy of Southington, who is one of nearly 180 surviving Freedom Riders.
On Monday, May 16 at 8 p.m., CPTV will also feature the Freedom Riders during the premiere of Freedom Riders: American Experience, a new PBS special that chronicles the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives – and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment – for simply traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South. Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism.
From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till) Freedom Riders: American Experience features testimony from a fascinating cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the Rides firsthand. The two-hour documentary is based on Raymond Arsenault's book Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice, and showcases the lesson of the Freedom Rides; that great change can come from a few small steps taken by courageous people.