Judy Frieze Wright
Judy Frieze Wright went to prison for her participation in Freedom Rides, but that was only the beginning of her career as an activist. Inspired by reports of Civil Rights sit-ins in the South, Wright joined the Freedom Riders, traveling through the South in mixed-race groups to desegregate public bus stations. The group was arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, and Wright spent six weeks in a maximum-security prison. After her release, Wright returned to Boston for graduate school and helped organize the Boston contingent of the March on Washington. She then moved to Meriden, Mississippi, for a year with her husband to hold sit-ins, register black voters, teach at a freedom school, and help organize the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party. While she withdrew from some of the higher-risk activities of civil rights activism after the birth of her two children, she continued her involvement with various activist groups, doing draft counseling for the anti-war movement and organizing consciousness-raising groups for the women’s movement. In the 1990s and early 2000s, her involvement shifted to the AIDS Action Committee, working to find a cure for the epidemic. In 2019, she published a memoir about her experiences in activism, titled Acts of Resistance; A Freedom Rider Looks Back on the Civil Rights Movement. Judy Frieze Wright was honored at the 2000 Women Who Dared event in Boston.