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One of Chinese American Int’l School founders was a Freedom Rider

January 15, 2012

Lt. Col. Harold Hoskins from left with Freedom Riders Carol Ruth Silver and Claude Albert Liggins at a 2011 NAACP gala.
Courtesy Freedom Riders Foundation

Freedom Riders to speak in Bend

Participants in the Civil Rights movement will talk at COCC

By Breanna Hostbjor / The Bulletin

Published: January 14. 2012 4:00AM PST

If you go

What: A Conversation with 1961 Freedom Riders: Carol Ruth Silver and Claude Albert Liggins talk about their experiences during the rides.
When: 6 p.m. Jan. 24
Where: Central Oregon Community College, Wille Hall, 2600 N.W. College Way, Bend
Cost: Donations accepted
Contact: 541-383-7257
Documentary film
Central Oregon Community College is also presenting several screenings of the PBS documentary “Freedom Riders,” which provides a history of the civil rights activists.
All screenings are free. Contact: 541-383-7257.
• 6 p.m. Tuesday at Becky Johnson Center, 412 S.W. Eighth St., Redmond.
• 5 p.m. Thursday at Central Oregon Community College, Hitchcock Auditorium, 2600 N.W. College Way, Bend.
• 11:30 a.m. Jan. 24 at Central Oregon Community College, Campus Center, 2600 N.W. College Way, Bend.
• 4:30 p.m. Jan. 26 at Central Oregon Community College, Madras Campus, 1170 E. Ashwood Road.

On May 4, 1961, an interracial group formed by the Congress of Racial Equality boarded a bus in Washington, D.C., and headed for New Orleans. The group comprised 12 people divided between two commercial buses. The group’s goal was to ride into the Deep South, challenging Jim Crow laws that enforced racial segregation in transportation terminals.

They were called Freedom Riders. They expected conflict, but only in moderation.

In the weeks that followed their departure, one of the buses was set ablaze in Anniston, Ala., and the passengers nearly burned to death. Riders were repeatedly swarmed and beaten by violent mobs. The government sent federal marshals to protect protesters and supporters (which included Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.) when rioters looked ready to burn the church where they were gathered in Montgomery, Ala.

The rides continued.

And after the bus burned in Anniston, volunteer riders began to pour in from across the country to bolster the protesters’ ranks. Among the new arrivals were Carol Ruth Silver and Claude Albert Liggins, who will speak in Bend on Jan. 24 (see “If you go”).

‘I have to strike out’

Silver, now of San Francisco, was in her early 20s and working as a clerk typist in New York when she heard about the events in Anniston. She had a background in civil rights activism and picketing in Chicago, where she had just received her undergraduate degree from the University of Chicago.

Please read more here.

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