Thursday, May 5, 2011

Freedom Riders....I'm feeling inspired!

Did anyone catch Oprah yesterday? What a tear jerker! OH MAN I had tears streaming down my face the entire show. Yesterday's show was about the 1961 "Freedom Riders."

Here’s a quick history lesson: (I was a history major for 4 yrs., so this intrigues me)

These white and black men and women were civil rights activists that rode interstate buses into the segregated southern United States to test the United States Supreme Court decision Boynton v. Virginia (of 1960). The first Freedom Ride left Washington, D.C., on May 4, 1961, and was scheduled to arrive in New Orleans on May 17. The Freedom Riders set out to challenge this status quo by riding various forms of public transportation in the South to challenge local laws or customs that enforced segregation. The Freedom Rides, and the violent reactions they provoked, bolstered the credibility of the American Civil Rights Movement and called national attention to the violent disregard for the law that was used to enforce segregation in the southern United States. Riders were arrested for trespassing, unlawful assembly, and violating state and local Jim Crow laws, along with other alleged offenses.

Oprah had 180 survivors of those freedom riders in her audience yesterday. The most moving moment on the show was when they played "Hallelujah I'm travelin" and all the guests started singing:
Stand up and rejoice, a great day is here
We are fighting Jim Crow and the victory's near
Hallelujah, I'm a travelin', hallelujah, ain't it fine?
Hallelujah, I'm a-traveling down freedom's main line!

Would I have been a freedom rider if I had been 25 years old in 1961? I would like to think, YES! Because right now in my life, I have a lot of passion inside me and I’m still trying to figure out how I can use it. My passions include: helping people who live in poverty, adopting a child who needs a loving mother and father, teaching young children, and creating things and spaces that people enjoy every day. Isn't this what life is all about? I want to be apart of something that changes the world, just like the Freedom Riders. I want to be brave, fight for what's right, and stand up for people who choose to make a difference.

What's your passion? Is your passion being shown to the others around you?

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