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Shirley, Dr. Ollye

Dr. Ollye Shirley was an accomplished leader in public television, children’s programming and advocacy, civil rights activism, public education, community service, and more. She and her late husband, Dr. Aaron Shirley, were paragons of civil rights in Mississippi. (Photo: Dr. Shirley is in the center.)

Oral History: Robert Singleton

Robert Singleton participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He describes being arrested in Jackson and the conditions in the city jail. The oral history was filmed for the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link). Interview Data Name of Interviewee: Dr. Robert Singleton Date: November 8, 2001 Place of Interview: Jackson, MS Time                         Topics/Names/Events Discussed 0:00-2:00 […]

Oral History: Sandra Nixon

Sandra Nixon participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. This video was filmed for the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link). Interview Data Name of Interviewee: Sandra Nixon             Date: November, 2001 Place of Interview: Jackson, MS Time                         Topics/Names/Events Discussed 0:00-2:00 Desire Housing Project, New Orleans; Isaac Thomas; child protection services, New Orleans 2:00-4:00 Fergus & […]

Oral History: John Moody

John Moody participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He first describes the mob violence in Birmingham. Moody then speaks about the incarceration conditions in Mississippi. You can learn more about the Freedom Rides in the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link).   His oral history may also be viewed here.

Freedom Rides

In the summer of 1961, the Freedom Riders, a group of mostly young people, both black and white, risked their lives to challenge the system of segregation in interstate travel in the South. The purpose of the rides was “to test the Supreme Court’s ruling in Boynton v. Virginia (1960), which declared segregation in interstate […]

Oral History: Thomas Madison Armstrong III

Thomas Armstrong participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He says that one of Ross Barnett’s speeches encouraged him to participate in the Freedom Rides, because Barnett said that Mississippian’s were happy with the present conditions. The video was filmed for the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link).   Interview Data Name of Interviewee: Thomas Madison […]

Oral History: John Siegenthaler

U.S. Attorney General’s Assistant John Siegenthaler observed the Freedom Rides in 1961. He speaks about the violence at Anniston, Alabama, and his attempt to convince Diane Nash to end the Freedom Rides on behalf of the federal government. He arrived in Montgomery before the Freedom Riders and attempted to prevent violence. In the mob in […]

Oral History: Marv Davidov

Marv Davidov participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He describes the conditions at Parchman State Penitentiary. The video was filmed for the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link). Interview Data Name of Interviewee: Marv Davidov Date: November 10, 2001 Place of Interview: Jackson, MS Time                         Topics/Names/Events Discussed 0:00-2:00 From Minneapolis, grew up in Detroit; reasons […]

Oral History: Robert Filner

United States Representative Robert Filner participated in the Freedom Rides in 1961. He explains the conditions at the city jails, the county jails, and Parchman State Penitentiary in Mississippi. The oral history was filmed for the documentary The Children Shall Lead (link). Interview Data Name of Interviewee: Congressman Bob Fillner                        Date: November 10, 2001 Place […]