Ep. 27: “Remembering the Freedom Rides” feat. Max Pavesic

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A first-hand account of protest & imprisonment

In 1961, bus stations in much of the South were still segregated by race, in spite of a 1960 Supreme Court case that had declared the practice illegal. The Freedom Rides were a campaign in which whites and Blacks rode the buses together to defy the Southerners and force them to change. Many activists were beaten by locals, often while law enforcement looked on and did nothing. Many were also arrested.

Max Pavesic was a 21 year old student in Los Angeles when he decided to become a Freedom Rider. He rode from New Orleans, Louisiana, to Jackson, Mississippi, where he was arrested along with others, and imprisoned at Parchman Farms.

Segregation on the buses was ended in November of that year, and ended soon afterwards, in a clear victory for the activists. This was a campaign that worked.

I spoke with Max on July 30th, 2020, which happened to be the 59th anniversary of his arrest. In this episode, he tells his story.

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