February is Black History Month, and this winter’s celebration will include a special focus on the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides. We are excited to join the Smithsonian Institution, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Verizon Thinkfinity in commemorating this historical landmark with a National Youth Summit webcast, which will air live on February 9, 2011, 12:00pm (EST).
Want to join in the live Webcast? Click here to register now. Or keep reading below to find out more!
Freedom Rides veterans Diane Nash, Jim Zwerg, and Reverend James Lawson will share how they became involved in the Freedom Rides and how their lives were affected by them. They will join filmmaker Stanley Nelson (writer, producer, and director of the new PBS documentary Freedom Riders) and scholar Raymond Arsenault to discuss the meaning of the Freedom Rides and the role of young people in shaping America’s past and future. Students across the country can join together electronically for this summit on the Freedom Rides and activism.
The discussion in Washington will be joined by five audiences at
Smithsonian Affiliate museums around the nation as well as by
registered viewers of the webcast. These Regional Town Halls will take
- The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Alabama
- The National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Cincinnati, Ohio
- Heinz History Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
- Japanese American National Museum, Los Angeles, California
- Arab American Museum, Dearborn, Michigan
The Webcast is presented by the National Museum of American History, the National
Museum of African American History and Culture, and the National
Endowment for the Humanities, in collaboration with Smithsonian
Affiliations and American Experience/WGBH.
Here are some additional ways to get involved with the Freedom Rides, Black History Month, Civil Rights, and the Verizon Thinkfinity Consortium:
- Visit Verizon Thinkfinity and explore a special collection of Civil
Rights lesson plans and activities to prepare your students for the
50th anniversary celebration of the Freedom Rides.
- Are you part of the Thinkfinity Community? Visit the History Explorers
group and learn what other history enthusiasts are discussing or follow
the discussion about the Freedom Riders Anniversary. (Then find me [Sarah Jane] and say “Hi!”)
Image courtesy National Museum of American History-Behring Center, Smithsonian Institution.