Press Releases

Freedom Riders on Oprah This Wednesday

May 4, 2011

Freedom Riders on Oprah This Wednesday

Milwaukee, WI (May 3, 2011) -- On May 16, AMERICAN EXPERIENCE will premiere Freedom Riders, a film about the 436 Americans who risked their lives by deliberately violating Jim Crow laws in the Deep South in the summer of 1961. They managed to bring President Kennedy and the American public face-to-face with the challenge of correcting civil rights inequities. A preview will be shown at MPTV Community Cinema, Thursday, May 5, at Discovery World Innovation Theater at 6:30 p.m. The full program airs May 16 at 8:00 p.m., on MPTV 10.1 following FREEDOM WALKERS FOR MILWAUKEE at 6:30 p.m.

This Wednesday, May 4, Oprah Winfrey will dedicate her entire program to the 50th anniversary of the 1961 Freedom Rides. The Oprah episode will highlight clips from the film as well as selections of content from the AMERICAN EXPERIENCE Freedom Riders website. Some of the features of the Freedom Riders website include:

Interactive Map - Retrace the rides from Washington DC on May 4 to 24, 1961 with this flash interactive. Click on the city names and the bus routes to find out what occurred during that leg of the journey. An additional map illustrates the routes that continued nationwide through the end of 1961.

Watch - Browse videos, including the film's trailer and twelve dramatic short films focusing on issues covered briefly in the film. After Freedom Riders' broadcast premiere on May 16, the complete film will stream online.
2011 Student Freedom Ride Blog - Follow 40 college students on their journey retracing the original 1961 freedom rides from May 6-16, 2011. The Student Ride will retrace the route of the original Rides and will launch a national conversation about the role of civil engagement in today's democracy. The blog page will be updated daily throughout the ride with student essays and video entries.

Other features on the site include biographies of key participants of the 1961 freedom rides, a complete roster of all original freedom riders, over 40 clips with interviews from original riders, exclusive short films and articles about the issues of the day, an interactive timeline, resources for the classroom, and an opportunity to share visitors own story.

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