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November 20, 2014, 6:00 pm
Chapel Hill Public Library, Meeting Room Bfreeriders

Imagine a time when traveling on a bus beside a person of a different race meant risking your life. From May until November 1961, more than 400 black and white “Freedom Riders” endured threats, beatings, and imprisonment, for simply traveling together on buses and trains through the Deep South. Inspired by the 1947 Journey of Reconciliation riders who traveled with the same goal – and made a historic stop in Chapel Hill – their courage to deliberately violate Jim Crow laws changed North Carolina and America forever.

Join the UNC Program in the Humanities and the Chapel Hill Public Library to explore these two tumultuous and impactful periods of history, with special attention paid to the ordinary people who did extraordinary things for our state and nation. William Chafe of Duke University will lead a discussion of these events as well as clips of the acclaimed film, “Freedom Riders.” Says filmmaker Stanley Nelson, “The lesson of the Freedom Rides is that great change can come from a few small steps taken by courageous people. And that sometimes to do any great thing, it’s important that we step out alone.” We hope you’ll step out to join us for this exciting event!

This event is free and open to the public. No registration is required. Free refreshments will be served.

This program is made possible through a major grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities, as part of its Bridging Cultures initiative, in partnership with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. It is co-sponsored by the Chapel Hill Public Library and the UNC Program in the Humanities and Human Values. For more information, contact the Program in the Humanities at 962-1544.

Additional events regarding civil rights will be held at the Chapel Hill public library throughout October and November. Click here for more information.