1961 Freedom Riders' 40th Reunion

Jackson, Mississippi, Veterans' Day Weekend, November 8-11, 2001

Anthology Project

The Freedom Riders Foundation Presents
The Freedom Riders Anthology

The Freedom Riders Foundation kindly requests the 1961 Freedom Riders to write or dictate an account of their experiences as Freedom Riders to be published here on this webpage and later in a Foundation publication entitled, “Freedom Riders Anthology.”

Respondents may answer the questions in the order as presented here or in a manner that they see fit. Online responses may be emailed to reunion@freedomridersfoundation.org or may be sent to:

Freedom Riders Foundation
Attn: Freedom Riders Anthology
68 Ramona Av, San Francisco 94103

Dictation Service Available

For those Freedom Riders who may be in need of a dictation service to dictate their responses over the telephone, an automated dictation service will be provided for you. Please contact us at the Foundation to receive the toll-free number to activate this service.


The following questions will be similar to those that will be asked during the video-taped oral history project that will be conducted at the 1961 Freedom Riders 40th Reunion in Jackson. Each of the Freedom Riders will be assigned a 30-minute time slot in which to be interviewed. Interviewees who traveled together on the same bus or served time in jail together may choose to be interviewed together resulting in an extended interview.

Sign up dates and times will soon be posted online and Freedom Riders can sign up for these slots on a first come first serve basis. We will however try our best to accommodate everyone’s schedule and needs.

Thank your very much for your time and effort in this effort. We appreciate your contribution. Please address any questions you may have to reunion@freedomridersfoundation.org.

Interview Questions

  1. Please tell us a little bit about your family’s history, religious and political views. Did these factors in any way influence your decision to become a Freedom Rider?
  2. How did you become a Freedom Rider?
  3. How did your family and friends react to your decision to become a Freedom Rider?
  4. Tell us about your journey.
  5. Were you ever frightened or did you ever regret your decision to join the Freedom Rides?
  6. Did you encounter any violence during your time as a Freedom Rider?
  7. Were you arrested? If so, please provide the following: Arrest date, trial procedures; verdict; length of sentence and length of time served. Please provide details of incarceration; facility; conditions; routine, etc.
  8. If arrested, what did you do upon your release?
  9. What were your thoughts as you left (if indeed you did) Mississippi or the South?
  10. What experience stands out most in your mind about your time as a Freedom Rider?
  11. Briefly, what has happened in your life since your time as a Freedom Rider?
  12. How has your experience as a Freedom Rider affected your life?
  13. Do you have any final thoughts or comments you’d like to share?

Thank you for sharing your story with us today and thank you for your contribution made to us all as a Freedom Rider.

Freedom Riders Foundation
Freedom Riders Anthology
-2001- ©