'Freedom Riders' airs on UNC-TV

Posted May 16, 2011
Updated May 20, 2011

UNC-TV aired "Freedom Riders" on May 16 about "the powerful, harrowing and ultimately inspirational story of six months in 1961 that changed America forever."

From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white Americans risked their lives – and many endured savage beatings and imprisonment – for traveling together on buses and trains as they journeyed through the Deep South

Deliberately violating Jim Crow laws, the Freedom Riders met with bitter racism and mob violence along the way, sorely testing their belief in nonviolent activism.

From award-winning filmmaker Stanley Nelson (Wounded Knee, Jonestown: The Life and Death of Peoples Temple, The Murder of Emmett Till) "Freedom Riders" features testimony from a cast of central characters: the Riders themselves, state and federal government officials and journalists who witnessed the Rides firsthand.

The two-hour documentary is based on Raymond Arsenault's book, "Freedom Riders: 1961 and the Struggle for Racial Justice."

Capitol Broadcasting Company, which owns WRAL, was a sponsor of the program. 


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  • boolittlek May 20, 2011

    This film documents people of different races and backgrounds working together and risking their lives to battle social injustice and to help our country embody the values it professes to uphold. I am white and was not born until 1973, and I am grateful that the Freedom Riders made the world a better place. floseh and jlh4jdj--perhaps you should actually watch the film and educate yourselves on our shared history.

  • Hammerhead May 20, 2011

    "I think that it's time to show another type of history. After all, the black people aren't the only people to be enslaved."

    Why is the south so obsessed with the Civil War then?

  • jlh4jdj May 19, 2011

    floseh-You have to remember that few people that want it shown care about what it stands for. They simply want money. Think about it if WRAL or the NAACP couln't report on on key words like "racism" they wouldn't have an exsistance it seems. They need these type programs to keep reminding people of decades ago, that most of them didn't even have a part in.

  • floseh May 18, 2011

    It would seem to me that this kind of documentary can only create more problems between the Races. Why not create a film on how working together can help both peoples prosper? I think that it's time to show another type of history. After all, the black people aren't the only people to be enslaved. What about the endentured servants who had to work seven years to pay their fare here. Try getting some of the people to work noe. Good luck.
    The Floseh

  • newssaavy72 May 18, 2011

    I found it on UNC-TV - PBS.otg where I could buy it.

  • newssaavy72 May 18, 2011

    I hate that I missed this as I did have it marked on my calendar. Is there a dvd that can be purchased or will the documentary be re-aired?

  • redstarlean May 17, 2011

    This was an excellent documentry, I remeber growing up in NYC and watching what unfolded down her in the South. Those people were real heros