Type: Review
Pages: 3 | Words: 632
Reading Time: 3 Minutes

The film Freedom Riders gives a deep insight into the plight of the segregated “colored” people in the USA.  Apart from apartheid tendencies the federal government made other colossal mistakes in the 1960s such as the aborted attempt at overthrowing Fidel Castro’s regime in the humiliating failure known infamously as the Bay of Pigs invasion. The stringent requirements and specifications to be a registered voter in the USA for the blacks made it almost impossible for the African-American community to have significant numbers during the elections.

The five days of the Freedom Rides will forever be imprinted in the medial part of the temporal lobe of the following individuals: Ralph Abernathy, Catherine Burks Brooks, Benjamin Elton Cox, and Stokely Carmichael to list just a few of the movement leaders. Notable leaders of the movement including Martin Luther King Jr, Diane Nash, Fred Shuttlesworth and Ralph Abernathy had envisioned a nationwide movement that would slowly help to culminate a revolution that would change the course of the country and bring real change that would be appreciated by the African-American community.

The freedom rides which were propagated on two buses from Washington D.C  down to Richmond onto the town of  Petersburg following a trajectory towards the town of Farmville then onto Lyndburg without any deviation from the path onto Danville the to the town of Greensboro continuing onto High Point then to Salisbury finally to Charlotte where the heels got rested.

The pertinent issues that were raised included the repealing of the Jim Crow laws. The Jim Crow laws of the 1890s basically introduced the apartheid system, the stark division between the whites and the coloreds was prominent and the prejudice against the blacks was rife especially in the South. The second issue was the slow progress of change in the US Federal system of government, under res ipsa loquitor (Latin for the thing speaks for itself) the inference is simple and clear, the federal government neglected its duty to the African-American community. Since the African-American community was virtually blocked from voting the federal government focused mostly on the Whites’ votes and thus to win the favor of the majority of the voters (the Whites) the federal government rarely prosecuted perpetrators of anti-racial sentiments and basically allowed the Whites to run roughshod over  the blacks without any sort of interference.

The comatose federal government at that time was only interested in being re-elected, Democrat leader John F. Kennedy was in a tight race for the presidency battling it out with the Republican candidate Richard Nixon who was giving him a good run for his money and thus the solid South’s votes were crucial to the campaign, John F. Kennedy made efforts in trying to get an olive branch out to Martin Luther King Jr. even though his real entrée was the Cold War politics which took center stage during the Presidential bid, he was making plans to meet with the president of the USSR (Union of Soviet Socialist Republics) Nikita Khrushchev to  strategize the way forward  and try to get solutions to the end of the Cold war. The domestic issues were summarily dismissed as the government focused on creating a good international image although the rapport wasn’t important if the paint was already peeling off the walls of the house since it was on fire.

On a lighter note the John F. Kennedy Presidency and the Lyndon B. Johnson’s Presidency made great changes and the strides they made went a long way in shaping the history of the USA though it came at the price of the Democratic government losing the block support of the Whites for several decades, the Lyndon’s regime will be remembered for the passage of two vital and very crucial Acts, the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the voting Rights Act of 1965.

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