In 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans now known as the Freedom Riders risked their lives traveling on buses and trains through the Deep South with a goal of integrating segregated terminals -- encountering in the process arresting police and violent protestors.
On January 16, Buffalo Grove High School students received a firsthand account of that harrowing experience, viewed powerful photos and news coverage of six months that changed America, and learned how one man now living in Naperville helped change history.
The Freedom Riders event began with a viewing of the national traveling Freedom Riders exhibit in the Buffalo Grove High School library. Rider Thomas Armstrong joined Robert Allare, Harper College professor of history, for a public conversation with Buffalo Grove High School English Teacher Ami Relf about civil rights and the Freedom Riders' role in history.
The event, which came the week before Martin Luther King Day, was sponsored by the District 214 Education Foundation.
The national traveling exhibit tells the inspirational Freedom Riders story from the perspectives of the Riders, the Kennedy administration and the international community. It was developed by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with AMERICAN EXPERIENCE. Major funding was provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The exhibit will be open to schools and community groups from January 28 to February 7 during school hours. To sign your group up for a viewing, fill out the form at https://bit.ly/2Qu6dlX.
The District 214 Education Foundation supports innovative education, lifelong learning and student success beyond the limits of conventional support for public education. To learn more, visit www.214foundation.org.