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Freedom Riders: John Lewis and Jim Zwerg on the Front Lines of the Civil Rights Movement Hardcover – December 27, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
"Why did I participate in the Freedom Rides? The answer is simple. It was the right thing to do."
"What's that I hear now ringing in my ears
I've heard that sound before
What's that I hear now ringing in my ears
I hear it more and more
It's the sound of freedom calling
Ringing up to the sky
It's the sound of the old ways a-falling
You can hear it if you try
You can hear it if you try"
During the spring of 1961, Jim Zwerg boarded a train for Nashville, Tennessee where he was signed up to participate in an exchange program at Fisk University. He would end up meeting John Lewis and getting involved in the Nashville Student Movement. That May, ignoring his mother's pleas not to do so, Zwerg would join a group of brave young people and take a bus ride to end segregation. That bus ride nearly cost Jim Zwerg his life when he and the other so-called Freedom Riders were set upon by a mob of hundreds that had been lying in wait for their arrival at the Montgomery, Alabama Greyhound station:
"Mob members threw him over a railing, knocked him to the ground, kicked him in the back, and stepped on his face. Zwerg blacked out, oblivious to the continued assault. Attackers pulled him into a headlock and punched his face. Women pounded him with their handbags. When he slumped to the ground, people kicked him in the groin, ribs, and face, then hauled him up to repeat the cycle."
Hours later Zwerg was filmed for the national evening news lying in his hospital bed.Read more ›
Bausum takes an historical event that normally might receive one or two lines in a textbook and fleshes out the story with compelling detail. According to her introduction, she traveled 4,000 miles, and interviewed countless people to bring this story to life. We learn about the incredible courage of the Freedom Riders, who faced hostile and violent mobs, but who didn't back down. At the end of the book, Bausum has a brief biography of several of the Freedom Riders. Many of then did well in life, but I was surprised to learn many of them were permanently scarred both physically and emotionally by their participation in the Civil Rights movement. I think it's important that we remember their stories and the sacrifices that they made. This book would be an excellent starting point for young adults learning about this important part of our history.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Freedom Riders was a very inspirational book! I learned tons about the Civil Rights movement that happened in the 50's and 60's, definitely more than I learned in history class. Read morePublished on December 8, 2010 by Candace Lee