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LaFayette Library hosting Anderson for Black History Month program


As part of Black History Month, the LaFayette Library will welcome a very special speaker for the Lunch’N Learn program on February 27. Laura Anderson, a member of the Alabama Humanities Foundation’s Road Scholars Speakers Bureau, will present “Mother’s Day 1961: The Freedom Rides in Alabama” at the library.

The Road Scholars Speakers Bureau provides public presentations and lectures on a variety of humanities topics. Designed to educate and entertain, the programs are presented by Alabama’s most enlightening university and independent scholars.

On Sunday, May 14 1961, two groups of passengers boarded buses in Atlanta for separate trips to Birmingham. The passengers, male and female, black and white, students and retirees, were known collectively as “Freedom Riders,” and they rode to test southern states compliance with federal interstate transportation laws. They faced extreme violence. Who were these riders? Why did they participate in a dangerous mission? What did they accomplish?

Using images of the burning of the Freedom Riders’ bus outside of Anniston on Mother’s Day 1961, images from a collection housed in the Archives of the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (BCRI), along with oral history interviews with persons involved in the Freedom Rides, Anderson’s presentation offers a look at the participants and supporters who risked their lives in effort to bring about Alabama’s compliance with federal law. In addition, the roles of violence, the media and law enforcement in the Civil Rights Movement will be discussed.

Anderson is the Archivist and Director of the Oral History Project at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

The program will begin at noon on the 27th; the library invites everyone to join them for the event, which includes a light lunch. Registration is required. You can contact the Library at 864-0012.