Screen PBS Freedom Riders at Christian Theological Seminary

Fifty years ago, more than 400 black and white Americans participated in the Freedom Rides, to take a stand against segregation and racism in the Southern United States. Screen the recent PBS documentary “Freedom Riders” at Christian Theological Seminary Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 pm. This stunning film documents thirteen of the brave Americans who left Washington DC in May 1961 to travel on a bus to New Orleans. Though not all survived, there legacy is an important part of the fabric of United States history. Gather at Christian Theological Seminary for a screening of the film and conversation about how these event changed our lives. This Indianapolis event is FREE an open to all Indianapolis people.

Despite two Supreme Court decisions that mandated the desegregation of interstate travel facilities, black Americans continued to experience harassment, hostility and racism in the Southern United States. President Kennedy’s administration, new to the office, were embroiled with concerns over the Cold War and failed to enforce the Supreme Court decision. In an effort to bring national attention to this problem and enact change.

Through the process of non-violent protest, Freedom buses began to travel to the Southern United States. Though they faced many obstacles including the Ku Klux Klan, which set fire to the original Freedom Bus in Alabama, the group grew even more determined. At one point, Mississippi officials arrested more than 300 riders in the notorious Parchman State Penitentiary. They faced horrific conditions and hatred, but nothing kept them for fighting for their freedoms. Rider Joan Trumpauer-Mulholland recalls, “We were past fear. If we were going to die, we were going to die, but we can’t stop. If one person falls, others take their place.”
For five months, these rides continued to the South, making front page news around the world. With the eyes of the globe upon them, the riders finally found some success. On September 22, the Interstate Commerce Commission issued its order to end the segregation in bus and rail stations. As the first unambiguous victory in the Civil Rights Movement, the Freedom Riders broke the flood gates allowing for other advancements as the movement continued.

Because of their courage and determination, the Civil Rights Movement gained momentum. The Freedom Riders proved that change is possible even in small steps. To this day, the riders stand as a symbol of what it means to be American. The PBS documentary features historic film, photos, interviews with Freedom Riders, state and federal officials and journalists who witnessed the movement first hand.

Head to Christian Theological Seminary to celebrate their legacy and to discuss their meaning. Participants at this Indianapolis education event  will be engaged and challenged about this historic issue in a supportive environment. Located near Butler University and the Indianapolis cultural district Broad Ripple Village, Christian Theological Seminar has prime Indianapolis real estate.

Before the discussion, grab dinner at any of these Indianapolis restaurants. Afterward, keep the conversation going over drinks at any of these Indianapolis bars. Stay tuned to for all the latest on fun things to do in Indianapolis. We cover Indianapolis arts, Indianapolis sports, Indianapolis theatre and more. Get out in Indy and find some fun!

Freedom Riders
Thursday, May 19 at 6:30 pm

Christian Theological Seminary
1000 West 42nd Street
Indianapolis, IN