iPlayer Radio What's New?
Image for The Freedom Riders

Play now 10 mins

The Freedom Riders

Duration:
10 minutes
First broadcast:
Tuesday 30 August 2011

The Freedom Riders were civil rights activists who rode on buses, testing out whether bus stations were complying with the Supreme Court ruling that banned segregation.

Listen to Bernard Lafayette Junior, an eyewitness to how Martin Luther King managed to prevent inter-ethnic bloodshed on a night of extreme tension during the battle against segregation in the American South.

Picture: A group of Black Americans get off the 'Freedom Bus' at Jackson, Mississippi, Credit: William Lovelace/Express/Getty Images

  • Martin Luther King memorial opens in Washington

    Martin Luther King memorial opens in Washington

    Crowds in Washington DC have entered the newly completed memorial to Dr Martin Luther King for the first time

    Watch the report on the BBC News website
  • Freedom Riders reunite after 50 years

    Freedom Riders reunite after 50 years

    "I knew I was going to die, it was a question of the best way to do it: leave the bus and be beaten to death, or stay and burn?"

    Read more on the BBC News website

Featured in...

Free downloads

  1. Image for Sporting Witness

    Sporting Witness

    The inside and personal story of the key moments from sporting history.

  2. Image for Witness

    Witness

    History as told by the people who were there. Witness talks to people who lived through moments…

  3. Image for Witness Archive 2010

    Witness Archive 2010

    Witness - history as told by the people who were there. Five days a week we will be talking to…

  4. Image for Witness Archive 2011

    Witness Archive 2011

    Witness - history as told by the people who were there. Five days a week we will be talking to…

  5. Image for Witness Archive 2012

    Witness Archive 2012

    Witness - history as told by the people who were there. Five days a week we will be talking to…

  6. Image for Witness Archive 2013

    Witness Archive 2013

    Witness - history as told by the people who were there. Five days a week we will be talking to…

  7. Image for Witness: Black History

    Witness: Black History

    For Black History Month, listen to interviews with people who were there at key moments in civil…

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Added. Check out your playlist Dismiss