Living the Legacy


Civil Disobedience: Freedom Rides

Unit 2 , Lesson 3

Jewish Women's Archive - Living the Legacy

Civil Disobedience: Freedom Rides

Teacher resources: 

The Electronic Archives of the Sovereignty Commission, Mississippi Department of Archives and History: An extensive online collection of photographs and other documents from Mississippi's official counter civil rights agency, 1956-1973. Browse the photography collection (scroll down), use the keyword search, or enter the name of a freedom rider to find his/her mug shot, articles that mention that individual, and any other related materials.

Freedom Riders, a PBS American Experience documentary by Stanley Nelson, features extensive archival photographs and footage as well as recent interviews with riders, government officials, and journalists. It focuses on the leaders of the Freedom Rides, who faced tremendous violence, including the bombing of one of the first buses and brutal mob attacks. The trailer and excerpts from the film are available on the film's website at The film will premiere on PBS in May 2011. (More about the film and interviews with the filmmaker and two Freedom Riders can be found in a video segment from Democracy Now.) Facing History and Ourselves has developed a study guide for the film, which you can download at

The website of the Mississippi Freedom 50th, a weeklong series of events to mark the 50th anniversary of the Freedom Rides, features a post about a Jewish Freedom Rider, Henry Schwarzschild, who in quoted describing how his Jewishness motivated his participation. The website also includes a video trailer that provides an overview of the Freeom Rides.

Arsenault, Raymond. Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006. A thorough study of the Freedom Rides.

Etheridge, Eric. Breach of Peace: Portraits of the 1961 Mississippi Freedom Riders. Atlas, 2008. A coffee table size book containing large images of Freedom Rider mugshots as well as recent photographs of select riders.

Kingian Principles of Nonviolence from The King Center, dedicated to the advancement of the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Jewish Women's Archive. "Living the Legacy - Lesson: Civil Disobedience: Freedom Rides." (Viewed on April 24, 2014) <>.