The story of the south, 1961

Staff Writer
Gonzales Weekly Citizen

NEW ORLEANS – The Louisiana Law Library, housed in the Louisiana Supreme Court, announced today that it will host a six-panel display telling the story of the Freedom Rides.

     The exhibit, created by the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History in partnership with the PBS history series “American Experience,” is on loan to the Law Library and will be on display until Oct. 30.

     According to Chief Justice Bernette Joshua Johnson, “This exhibit tells the important story of the brave, non-violent protesters who defeated Jim Crow laws in interstate commerce. In 1961, over 400 black and white Americans risked their lives by traveling together on buses and trains through the Deep South deliberately violating Jim Crow laws in effort to force the federal government to protect the civil rights of the protesters.”

     The exhibit was created as companion to the PBS documentary Freedom Riders which aired nationwide in 2011. The film featured testimony from a cast including: the Freedom Riders themselves, state and federal government officials, and journalists who witnessed the rides. These interviews have been interactively incorporated into the traveling exhibit and provide a firsthand account of the violence, social-political tension and the climate of change that defined the time.

     The exhibit is free and will be open weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Law Library is located on the second floor of the Louisiana Supreme Court courthouse, 400 Royal St., New Orleans. For more information about the Freedom Rides exhibit, contact Law Library Director Georgia Chadwick at (504) 310.2400.