In 1961, 40 people boarded a bus in Washington D.C. aimed at New Orleans....for a brave cause. Sounds like an ordinary trip, but the people on the bus were nowhere near ordinary....and 1961 was certainly not an ordinary time. Black and White, young and old, those of faith and those with faith to survive and change the world, took a stand against against segregationthat led them through several Southern states with stops in seven cities - stops where they intentionally broke the laws of that time, laws that refused to allow Blacks and Whites to eat together, ride together, and in many places, be seen together. These 40 Freedom Riders risked their lives, their educations....everything....to expose hate and injustice in a way most of us these days won't ever experience.
'American Experience' and AETN is bringing you the 50-year-old story of this ride this May 16 in a heart-wrenching but hopeful tale of survival, fighting for the right thing, in a time crying out for help. And during the 10 days before the film premieres - May 6-16 - 40 college students will have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to join some of the original Freedom Riders and retrace that 1961 historical route...learn their stories...learn about their struggles...and bring light to an event in history not to be forgotten. Applications will be accepted UNTIL Jan. 17, 2011. All expenses are paid. March 1 announcement of who gets to get on the bus.